GREENCASTLE — A healthy wind was blowing from end to end at Kaley Field in Greencastle on Monday night.
The fact that Greencastle-Antrim did not let the stiff breeze affect its play was perhaps the biggest factor in the Blue Devils’ 4-0 beat down of Kennard-Dale in a District 3 Class AAA boys soccer first-round playoff game.
G-A (16-3-1) will face Lampeter-Strasburg (12-6) in a quarterfinal game Thursday at 5 p.m. at Boiling Springs. L-S downed Twin Valley, 3-1.
The Rams had the wind at their back for the first half, but managed only four shots, two of which came on long free kicks. Greencastle goalkeeper Bryson Robinson had to make an acrobatic save on one of them.
“I just wanted us to hang on in the first half, and our defense did a great job,” Blue Devil coach Scott Gelsinger said. “The wind gave us a little problem, but we handled it well.”
Even better, Greencastle went to halftime with a 2-0 lead, thanks to a pair of excellent plays. Brandon Stuhler scored the first goal when a ball popped into open space about 25 yards out. He controlled it, took one dribble and cracked a shot into the far side of the netting.
Just 5:51 before halftime, G-A executed a near-perfect corner kick. Josh Kline sent in a shoulder-high line drive and Kaleb Hurley met it with his head, driving a powerful shot that handcuffed Rams’ keeper Brett Imho.
“That was one of Hurley’s best goals of the year,” Gelsinger said.
With the wind helping them in the second half, the Blue Devils totally dominated play, getting off 16 shots to four for the Rams. The defense of Ian Gelsinger, Avery Wenger, Ben Freeman and Tyler Hazel pushed up the field and hemmed in their opponents.
Gelsinger said, “In the midfield, Kline, Hurley and Jason Freeman did a nice job of cutting off their passing lanes and not letting them turn it.”
Jason Freeman also got involved in the scoring. Hurley put a nifty move on his man in the left corner and his darting pass inside was struck first-time by Freeman into the net. Jared Rohrbaugh capped the scoring when he got to a rebounded shot and knocked it home.
“It was really nice to see four different players get goals,” Gelsinger said.
Greencastle 4, Kennard-Dale 0
Kennard-Dale 0 0 — 0
Greencastle 2 2 — 4
GA — Brandon Stuhler, 14th minute
GA — Kaleb Hurley, asst. Josh Kline, 36th minute
GA — Jason Freeman, asst. Hurley, 43rd minute
GA — Jared Rohrbaugh, 73rd minute
Shots — KD 7, GA 21; Shots on goal — KD 6, GA 10. Corner kicks — KD 2, GA 3. Saves — KD 6 (Brett Imho), GA 6 (Bryson Robinson). Fouls — KD 10, GA 11. Caution — KD coach. Offsides — GA 1.