WAYNE — Greencastle-Antrim gave Radnor all it could handle in a PIAA girls soccer first-round game Tuesday evening.
But the District 1 champion Raptors (18-4) survived to claim a 2-1 victory and advance to Saturday’s quarterfinals, where they will face Northwest Lehigh, a 1-0 winner over Dallas.
The Blue Devils conclude their excellent season with a 19-3 record.
“We played really well — we out-played them and attacked the whole game,” G-A coach Chris Noblit said. “We were all over the goal. We just struggled finishing in the last two games.”
Tuesday’s game, in fact, had a lot of similarities to Greencastle’s prior game, a 2-1 loss to Mechanicsburg in the District 3 semifinals, in which the Blue Devils crushed the Wildcats in possession and shots, but could score only once.
Noblit said, “It was a lot like that game. (Radnor) scored early in the game on a defensive mistake, just like Mechanicsburg did. They ended up with only about four shots on goal and I’m sure we had over 20. Unlike Mechanicsburg, we put almost all of them on the frame, but their goalkeeper (Mallory Toomey) was very good.”
In the 8th minute, the Raptors’ Ivy Chaskelson got to the end line and attempted a cross, but the ball bounced off a G-A defender and snuck into the net for an own goal.
“Their girl actually kind of miss-hit that one, too,” Noblit said.
Four minutes into the second half, Greencastle tied it up, 1-1. Courtney Andruczk set up Haley Noblit with a pass and Noblit fired a left-footed shot off the inside of the goal post and into the net.
But with 23 minutes left, Radnor got the game-winner from Chaskelson. The Blue Devils lost possession near midfield and Chaskelson gained control, dribbled past a defender and hit a hard shot into the goal.
Greencastle put on plenty of pressure the rest of the way but couldn’t come up with the equalizer.
The Blue Devils had a shot in the first half by Mia Libby cleared off the line by a Raptor defender. They had another shot by Haley Noblit hit the crossbar and bounce straight down — perhaps going across the goal line — but it was cleared out by Toomey. Andruczk had a pair of shots that Toomey made fine saves on. Libby hit the post again inside the final 20 minutes.
“That shot that Haley hit, we thought was in,” Chris Noblit said. “Some of the parents swore it was across the line before the keeper knocked it out. Unfortunately, the ref was way behind the play, so he couldn’t tell, and we know if he’s not there, he’s not going to give a goal.”
Noblit was happy with his team’s play, despite the defeat.
“What makes it really frustrating is that we were the definite underdogs, and we really should have won,” he said. “We played much better than in the Mechanicsburg game. This team (Radnor) was head and shoulders better than Mechanicsburg — they have four girls who are big-time players and we had to know where they were at all times.”
Radnor 2, Greencastle-Antrim 1
Greencastle 0 1 — 1
Radnor 1 1 — 2
R — Own goal, 8th minute
G — Haley Noblit, asst. Courtney Andruczk, 44th minute
R — Ivy Chaskelson, 57th minute