HERSHEY — Hempfield’s defense may not have been the best Chambersburg has seen this season, but it was plenty good enough.
The Black Knights limited the Trojans to just four shots — none of which was threatening — and captured a 2-0 victory Tuesday evening at Hersheypark Stadium in a District 3 Class 4A boys soccer semifinal game.
The Trojans (12-4-4) will play Ephrata (17-4) on Saturday for third place in the district and a berth in the PIAA Tournament — time and site will be announced Wednesday. Cumberland Valley blanked the Mountaineers in the other semifinal, 3-0.
“Lower Dauphin’s defense was better,” Trojan coach Corey Grove said. “But this defense was very good. We didn’t create enough chances.”
The Black Knights’ three defenders, Daniel Hester, Zach Wilson and Will Hessinger, with help from several defensive midfielders, mostly Christian Benedict, kept the Trojan offense at bay.
When the Chambersburg midfield did get control of the ball and have time to make a pass, their options were limited. Hempfield closed off the passing lanes and marked closely.
Grove said, “I thought we held the ball too long today. A little too much individual play. We needed to let the ball do the work and use the open spaces better.”
Hempfield got the only goal it needed at the end of a short period of dominance as the end of the first half neared. Ryan Hepler, whose passing had already given his team several opportunities, dropped a pass to Jesse Gutierrez, and Gutierrez placed a left-footed shot high into the far side of the net.
Fifteen minutes into the second half, the Black Knights doubled their advantage. Colin Gallagher gained control of a loose ball just on his side of midfield and took off on a diagonal run to the middle. When nobody was able to close on him, he burst into the penalty area and unleashed a shot inside the far post.
“Our defense played well, but those were two great goals by them,” Grove said. “Sometimes what it takes is a piece of skill by a player; they had that and we didn’t.”
Chambersburg’s best chances to score came in the first half. Chuy Munoz and Tyler Luther both worked into a position to take a shot, but neither was able to get much on the ball and Hempfield keeper Brady Ross handled both easily.
Grove said, “We didn’t have a great game, except for our defense. I know defense wins championships, but you still have to score.”
And that was something the Black Knights were not going to allow.
Hempfield 2, Chambersburg 0
Hempfield 1 1 — 2
Chambersburg 0 0 — 0
H — Jesse Gutierrez, asst. Ryan Hepler, 38th minute
H — Colin Gallagher, 55th minute
Shots — Hemp 13, Chbg 4. Shots on goal — Hemp 7, Chbg 3. Corner kicks — Hemp 5, Chbg 1. Saves — Hemp 3 (Brady Ross), Chbg 5 (Andrew Armstrong). Fouls — Hemp 9, Chbg 15. Offsides — Hemp 4, Chbg 0.