ABINGTON >> It didn’t take long for Abington’s boys soccer team to put its stamp on the Suburban One League American Conference.
In their first season in the league, the Ghosts avenged their only loss of the season and topped Wissahickon, 4-0, to clinch the championship Thursday afternoon at Memorial Field.
“It means everything,” Abington captain Jack Failing said. “We’ve been working hard all year — practicing hard. It just feels so good to finally achieve it.”
The Ghosts (15-1-0, 11-1-0) took the lead late in the first half. They failed to score on a corner, but managed to keep the ball in the offensive end.
Sean Touey flicked a throw-in and Jaeden Joyce sent it to the back-post, where Nevin Baer was able to get enough of the ball to put it into the goal.
“It was such a relief,” Failing said of scoring first. “We had a couple chances in the beginning that we should have finished on, but it was finally good to get that first goal and get that momentum rolling.”
The lead doubled to 2-0 shortly after halftime.
Abington was awarded a penalty kick after Wissahickon goalkeeper Jun Yuh was called for hitting the back of a Ghosts player’s head when attempting to punch the ball on a corner.
Failing stepped up to take the PK and buried it into the right side of the net.
“Last practice we tried (penalty kicks) for like 25 minutes,” he said. “We went down the line to see who could make the most. I felt confident today so I went up there and took it.”
Trojans (8-5-2, 7-3-2) coach Stuart Malcolm was not happy with the officiating that led to both of Abington’s goals.
“It was the consistency,” he said. “They called an obstruction on our play when a throw-in came into the box, which he couldn’t explain. Then four (Abington) players were around our goalkeeper as he went up for it and neither one of (the officials) decided that was obstruction. The play was down there at our end for the next five, six seconds and they recycled the ball and scored. If we get the free kick in there and get the ball out, we’re looking at 0-0 at halftime. As for the other decision, no one is going to be able to explain that to me … Randy (Garber) the Abington coach — we talked about it and said it’s just a shame for the boys.”
Wissahickon faces Upper Dublin Tuesday night at Talen Energy Stadium. Trailing 2-0 with more than 30 minutes left in the game, Malcolm pulled most of his starters from the game to ensure they would be available to play on the Major League Soccer pitch.
“We have a game Tuesday night at Talen Energy Stadium,” Malcolm said. “It’s going to be a fun night for the boys. I didn’t want any of them receiving a red card from the officials with regards to the frustrations that we had with the early decisions.
“I was really proud of the performance the boys put in for 34 minutes until the decision went against us. It was really even and we had a couple opportunities. It was shaping up to be a great game. I’m just disappointed. I had to make the decision that I thought was in the best interest of the program.”
Less than 20 seconds after the five Trojans starters were subbed out, Abington extended its lead to 3-0. Sean Touey carried the ball up the left side of the field and beat the keeper to the right.
Antonio DiTri finished off the scoring for the Ghosts. His shot deflected off a Trojans defender and found the back of the net.
Abington entered Thursday’s match ranked No. 5 in the District 1 Class-4A power rankings. Wissahickon was No. 15.
“We’ll look to get some wins next week and get as high as we can,” Malcolm said. “As always try to make some noise in the playoffs.”