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Baer’s OT goal allows Abington to survive Lansdale Catholic’s comeback

Lansdale Catholic’s Chris Edling battles Abington’s Nevin Baer for possession of a loose ball during their game on Tuesday, Sept 5, 2017. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)

LANSDALE >> Things appeared settled between the Abington and Lansdale Catholic boys soccer teams when Nevin Baer gave the visiting Ghosts a 3-0 lead in the second half.

But then LC’s Chris Edling scored. And then he did it again. And then he did it a third time and the Crusaders and Abington were going to overtime in their non-league contest Tuesday afternoon.

“I was trying to rest our legs for tomorrow (against Council Rock South). It was hot, it hasn’t been this hot for a while, so I hopefully gave some of the other guys an opportunity to play,” Abington coach Randy Garber said. “And they scored some quick goals and put it in a situation it ended up 3-3 and I had to put the starters back in.”

Baer’s first tally wasn’t enough, but his second allowed the Ghosts to escape — the sophomore lofting a shot over outgoing LC keeper Zach Shepardson in the extra period to give Abington a 4-3 victory.

“It started with like I think Blaire (Barber) he played over the top to Sean Touey and he flicked it on for me,” Baer said. “I chipped the keeper.”

Touey scored twice in the first half for Abington (2-0-0) and came close a few other times, including twice in OT. But after Baer put the Ghosts up 3-0 after halftime, the Crusaders found a spark with Edling collecting his first goal. Lansdale Catholic (0-2-0) continued to put on the pressure and the result was the senior earning a natural hat trick.

“I think we had a little bit of a hangover from a very difficult first Penn Charter game,” said first-year coach Bill James of LC’s 5-0 loss to PC last Friday. “First half provided to be difficult for us, not getting over that hangover. Questioned their toughness a little bit a halftime and I think they brought out the toughness, the high pressure and things of that nature caused opportunities.”

League and conference play starts for both teams in their next games. Abington begins play Suburban One League National Conference on the road against CR South 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. Lansdale Catholic, meanwhile, opens its Philadelphia Catholic League schedule hosting Bonner & Prendergast 3:45 p.m. Thursday.

Edling made it 3-1 finishing a ball chipped to him by Ray Royds. Edling’s second coming off a free kick sent into the Ghosts’ 18-yard box. The ball was cleared but Steve Esterle flicked it back in to Edling, who sent an initial shot off the right post but it rebounded back to him at the left post, where he finally put it in.

“I thought it was going out. I got a lucky bounce right on the line and nice little tap in,” Edling said.

Abington’s Reese Gibbs jumps to head the ball near Lansdale Catholic’s Chris Edling during their game on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)

The tying goal came shortly after, Kyle Kane threading a pass forward to Edling, who blasted a left-footed effort into the top left corner.

“Chris is that type of player. He’s done it all through summer league, done it through our scrimmages,” James said. “When the games start to get away from us, he’s the one that brings the games back to us as that leader steps in. He’s done it time and time again and I look forward as a new coach to seeing it throughout the season.”

Both teams had a chance late on free kicks. First an Abington restart bouncing around the box before Shepardson dove to grab the ball. Edling then had a try from within shooting range but his free kick hit the Ghost wall.

In overtime, a free kick fell right to Touey in front of the net but he could not connect. Later, Touey’s volley after a corner kick was off-target. Baer put an end to the game by getting a ball over the hands of Shepardson and into the goal.

“We have 25 players on the team, we got 23 players into the game. I was trying to get everyone into the game because I thought I could and just broke down,” Garber said. “Players weren’t marking and they all of sudden started to push forward and I thought the players I had in could take care of business. Obviously that wasn’t the case and so I had to put the starters back in and try to finish it out.

“And we were fortunate to score the goal that we did. Nevin, Sean gave him a good ball through and he took it well and he buries and we’re lucky to get out of here a 4-3 overtime win.”

Touey gave Abington a 1-0 lead by charging on to a ball dropped over the LC backline by Daniel Heller then slotting a shot past Shepardson. Touey proceeded to earn a brace and give the Ghosts a 2-0 advantage just before halftime by beating the Crusader defense for a ball Nicholas Mancini sent into the box.

“He had 22 (goals) last year and he’s got for this year already in two games,” said Garber of Touey. “He’s an opportunist, He’s big, he’s strong.”

Baer needed a some second effort to make it 3-0 as his initial try was blocked, but the ball stayed close and the sophomore delivered a low shot into the net.

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