Meyers scores twice in boys win over Hershey
March Madness might be several months away, but the Northwestern boys soccer team just made another successful journey down the road to high school’s soccer state final four.
The Tigers pulled out a 2-1 win over Hershey Saturday at Hamburg High School to advance to Tuesday’s PIAA Class 3A semifinal game for the third straight season.
“It’s surreal,” said Northwestern senior forward Noah Meyers, who scored both of his teams’ goals Saturday. “To make it to states in general is great. We want to go all the way this time. We hope to make it all the way to finals, but semis comes first.”
The Tigers had early opportunities, but were turned away early and throughout the game by Trojan goal keeper Tegan Therit.
Meyers finally drove a goal past Therit with 29:34 left in the first half on a feed from Andrew Goodolf.
“First goal was a pass from Andrew Goodolf,” said Meyers. “I saw it was wide open on the left so I took a rip. Luckily, my shot went in the left corner.”
The lead was short-lived as the Trojans’ Rodrigo Martinez got one past Tiger keeper Taylor Wanamaker just over five minutes later to make it a 1-1 game.
“It was a little upsetting, but the goal is to stay focused and mentally strong,” said Wanamaker, who kept the Trojans out of the goal for the rest of the contest. “You can’t let them get in your head. I felt like we played very strong. Our defense was excellent.”
Northwestern pressured the goal throughout the first half and missed on some chances before going to halftime at 1-1.
“We said at halftime, no disrespect to Hershey, we felt like we were the better team,” said Northwestern head coach Nate Hunsicker. “Sometimes on this stage the better team isn’t the one that ends up moving on. We didn’t want to end our season tonight. The second half, just having that will to win and that never give up attitude. It was going to take a lot to defeat us tonight.”
Therit and his defense did their best to hold back the Tigers with a few big saves over the first 30 minutes over the second half. But in the game’s 70th minute Meyers had one of Therit’s saves deflect to his feet with a clear shot at the goal.
“Zach Creighton took a shot and the goalie made a phenomenal save,” said Meyers. “I was there to finish it. There was nobody on me and it fell right to me. I put it in the back of the net.”
The Tigers move on to face District 12 champ Archbishop Wood Tuesday at Upper Perkiomen High School in Pennsburg.
In Northwestern’s first state semifinal appearance, the Tigers lost to District 4 champ Lewisburg, which went on to win the Class 2A title. Last year, the first season in which the PIAA split boys soccer into four classes, they beat Gettysburg 2-1 (3-2 PKs) to advance to the Class 3A final, where they lost 3-0 to Lower Dauphin.
Both Northwestern soccer teams will play at Upper Perk Tuesday night. The Tiger girls team won it’s quarterfinal match up Saturday at Hamburg and is playing in Tuesday’s Class 2A semifinal game. “It’s awesome for the Northwestern community for both of us to walk away with victories. I don’t know, but it’s got to be pretty rare for that to happen for the same school in the same year,” said Hunsicker.