Whitemarsh – In a match between the top two teams in Suburban One League American Conference boys soccer, one wouldn’t expect to see either team to let up — especially when it’s a game between bitter rivals Plymouth Whitemarsh and Wissahickon.
Tuesday afternoon at Colonial Stadium, PW got the best of its league foes when an overtime tally by Colonials’ Austin Betterly downed the Trojans, 2-1, seven minutes into the extra session.
“It was insane,’ said Betterly, reacting to his neat finish that beat Wissahickon’s goalkeeper John Carrozza for the game winner. “I was running down the field and I called for it and I just chipped it right over the goalie.
“It felt great.’
Even though PW was ultimately the squad to revel in the victory, the visiting team almost did enough to go back home with the win.
Wissahickon’s Cole Kropnick had the best opportunity early in the game when he whipped in a free kick from about 30 yards out that beat PW goalie Shane Smith, but was disappointed when his effort stayed out after it hit the woodwork on the far side.
The Trojans continued to dial up the pressure in the first half, winning corners and matching their Colonial counterparts to the ball, but PW was able to relieve the pressure via the midfield play of Alex Bilodeau and Betterly.
Plymouth Whitemarsh’s success came with its counterattack, playing balls past the defense from land and air to its playmakers up top, but Wissahickon’s Carrozza always had an answer when he sprinted from his line to halt the attack.
Eventually the scoring would open up just minutes before the half when the Colonials ended the gridlock in the 38th minute.
After a missed clearance by the Trojan defense, PW’s Adam Deeves pounced on the ball and lifted a strike past Carozza right under the crossbar and into the back of the net.
The first half would conclude with PW up 1-0 over Wissahickon, but the game was far from over.
When the teams made their ways back onto the field for the second half, it was the Trojans that started with a sense of urgency.
It seemed as if the breakthrough would come in the 47th for Wissahickon when Kropnick played a ball to streaking defenseman Alec Schwartz, who met the ball with a well-timed, but misplaced blast on goal.
PW’s Smith was able to parry the shot off to the side, and the Trojans were left looking for an answer on how to even the score.
Time and time again Plymouth Whitemarsh was left holding its breath after free kicks sailed to high in the heavy wind and crossed balls fell harmlessly out of the reach of Wissahickon attackers.
Kropnick almost knotted the game up for his Trojans in the 68th minute, but once again was let down when he headed a service from Schwartz that found the crossbar and dropped into the arms of Smith.
But the Trojans didn’t give up.
Kropnick again received a pass down the left flank from Schwartz and whipped in a cross that was met at the far post by the crashing header of Darien Williams and the score became 1-1.
The Colonials saw their lead evaporate and the Trojans were finally in business.
“Our guys came out and I think anyone who watched the game in the second half and seeing us hitting the bar and having the chances we created are going to say we deserved to get the goal that we did,’ said Wissahickon head coach Stuart Malcolm.
When the fulltime whistle blew, the Colonials and Trojans found themselves in a golden goal situation and a shot at first place in the early part of the season.
And with just seven minutes into the extra time, Betterly’s goal would end it.
Dominic Wlodarczyk fed a square ball into Betterly’s path and the junior did the rest with a swift left strike, practically mimicking the first goal scored and PW players and coaches stormed the field.
“I think this is a big rivalry, and I think that’s why (the players) are so happy,’ PW head coach Devon Landgraff said of the elation following the game winner.
“Austin, who’s been having some trouble with his confidence, that was a great shot for him to win the game and hopefully he can use that momentum going into the rest of the season.’