DOWNINGTOWN >> Even though most of the game was played in a cold, driving rain storm, Harrison Coron made it all sunshine and rainbows for the Bishop Shanahan boys soccer team and its fans.
Coron scored with a just under two minutes left in the second half to give Bishop Shanahan a dramatic 3-2 victory over Greencastle-Antrim in the first round of the PIAA Class 3A Championships at DiSerafino Stadium at Downingtown West High School on Tuesday.
“It’s absolutely fantastic,” said senior midfielder Jake Frank. “Words can’t explain it. It’s history in the making.”
The District 1 champions (19-3) will face District 12 winners Archbishop Wood in the quarterfinals Saturday at a time and place to be determined. The Eagles have won 10 straight.
“Messy weather, balls bounce all over the place, they get stuck in puddles, but it’s exciting,” said Shanahan coach James Kalavik.
With the score tied at 2-2 and the clock winding down toward overtime, Shanahan struck. Coron collected a through ball, beat a defender, and slipped a shot past Blue Devils goalie Bryson Robinson to take the lead with 1:55 left.
“It was a quick counter,” said Coron on the goal. “Someone saw Shimon (Hilton), then I made the diagonal run and and he put me in. I took a touch off my thigh and put it underneath the keeper.”
Despite the conditions, the game opened with chances flowing on both ends, Coron ripped a dipping shot that hit off the right post, while Greencastle’s Josh Kline forced a quality save from Shanahan’s Austin Coron.
The Blue Devils fired a shot across Shanahan’s bow by taking the lead when Jason Freeman scored following a goalmouth scramble.
The Eagles collected the equalizer nearly 10 minutes later as Frank pounced on a loose ball and fired it into the open net.
Frank gave the Eagles the lead as he took a Hilton pass from behind the defense and beat Robinson.
“There’s a reason why he has over 50 goals in his career,” Kalavik said of Frank. “It might not seem like a lot, but we play in one of the toughest districts and conferences in Pennsylvania. He always finds the back of the net. That’s what he does.”
The lead lasted for three minutes of game time. Brandon Stuhler slipped behind the defense and scored to knot the game at 2-2.
“We just keep fighting back, and we come back and tied the game,” said Greencastle-Antrim coach Scott Gelsinger. “You’re hoping to get into overtime, and they score late. I thought we wore down a bit and they keep coming at you. But, I’m proud of the boys, they played hard.”
While the pace of the game slowed, both teams came close to taking the lead. Greencastle hit the crossbar from a header off a corner. Richard Zink nearly put Shanahan ahead when his shot went screaming across the face of goal with nine minutes left.
With the spectre of overtime looming, Coron came up big for the Eagles, and left his coach touting the senior’s future.
“Any college coach that’s not chomping at the bit to sign Harrison Coron is out of his mind because he is by far the best player around.”
Bishop Shanahan 3, Greencastle-Antrim 2
Greencastle-Antrim 1 1 – 2
Bishop Shanahan 2 1 – 3
Grenncastle-Antrim goals: Freeman, Stuhler.
Bishop Shanahan goals: J. Frank 2, H. Coron.
Goalie saves: Robinson (GA) 6, H. Coron (BS) 7.
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