Tigers earn trip to Hershey
It was almost expected.
Senior Noah Meyers led the Northwestern boys soccer team in goals with 20. And on Tuesday night at Upper Perkiomen High School, Meyers recorded numbers 21 and 22 in leading the Tigers (25-0 overall) to a 3-1 victory over District 12 one-seed Archbishop Wood in the PIAA Class 3A semifinals.
“I love the way we finished,” said Tiger head coach Nathan Hunsicker. “Noah’s goals and even Sam’s (Seyfried) goal was excellent. Unless you’re a soccer purist, you don’t actually know how hard those finishes were. The atmosphere tonight was great, and I thank the students and fans who came out. One more to go now.”
Sam Seyfried scored the third goal from the penalty spot for insurance, which proved in the end to be important.
Northwestern is heading back to HersheyPark Stadium on Saturday night in its second straight trip to the PIAA final. It lost 3-0 last year to Lower Dauphin, the same team that the Tigers will be playing this year after the Falcons were 4-0 winners over Montour on Tuesday night.
Northwestern looked like the team that was going to strike first. It held the possession and created more of the scoring chances. Iin the 29th minute, the Tigers found their opening.
Senior Andrew Goodolf jumped up for a ball that was sent up in the air from the Northwestern side of the field. Goodolf flicked it off his head onto the running path of Meyers, who neatly slotted a shot into the bottom left part of the net for the game’s opening goal.
The teams would see out the 1-0 score to halftime. After a 43-minute dry spell for both teams, the Tigers struck again, and it was from the foot of Meyers.
Meyers, who scored both of the Tigers’ goals in Saturday’s state semifinal win over Hershey, scored his second goal against Archbishop Wood off a pass from freshman Jeff Garcia with 19:13 remaining to give his team a two-goal cushion.
“He’s been great all year,” Hunsicker said. “But over the last couple of games he has just been shining for us. I could not be happier for him. He is not only a great player, but a fantastic kid. Once again, he went out there and showcased himself and could not be happier for him and all of the guys on this team.”
After a Tigers player was tripped up inside of the 18-yard box, the referee awarded a penalty shot. Seyfried connected and gave Northwestern a comfortable 3-0 lead late in the game.
Archbishop Wood got one back on a chip shot by Hugh Lynch that may have caught an unsuspecting senior goalie Taylor Wanamaker as the ball got over his outstretched arms and into the goal with 5:09 left.
The Vikings threatened inside of the next two minutes, and actually had a ball roll right in front of the Northwestern goal, but no one was there to finish it off.
Northwestern outshot Archbishop Wood 12-8. Wanamaker finished with nine saves.