Fleetwood Claims Class 2A District 3 Men’s Football Title With Victory Over Lancaster Catholic
Nov. 6 – MECHANICSBURG – Midway through the first half of the District 3 Class 2A men’s soccer final, Fleetwood found themselves trailing by one goal.
The Tigers had peppered Lancaster Catholic with one shot after another, but failed to score.
In the final minutes of the first half, Fleetwood broke through.
Junior Nate Herb scored to equalize just before halftime and senior Grant Hernandez scored what turned out to be the winning goal minutes into the second half to carry the top-seeded Tigers , to a 2-1 win over the sixth-seeded Crusaders on Saturday night at Mountain View Middle School in Cumberland Valley.
“We have a lot of talent here in this squad,” Fleetwood coach Keith Schlegel said. “You have to put the ball in the net, and we didn’t do that straight away tonight, (but) these guys are persistent.”
The Tigers’ perseverance was on full display throughout the game as they outscored Lancaster Catholic 16-3. The title is Fleetwood’s 14th, the most of any men’s football program in District 3 history.
“I’m just really proud of these guys,” Schlegel said. “These guys are great kids.”
Lancaster Catholic (14-5-2) opened the scoring midway through the first half on a goal from elder Will Scott, who sent a header off the crossbar and into the net. Junior Dawson Shreck got the assist.
Trailing 1-0 despite registering one shot after another, Fleetwood earned a free kick with just over five minutes remaining in the first half. Junior Josh Avila took the kick, firing a shot straight to the bottom left corner of the net.
Lancaster Catholic goalkeeper Nathan Hummer made the first save but dropped the ball, and Herb was there to push it over the goal line to make it 1-1.
“They’re the ones that win you games,” Schlegel said. “It’s good to score a goal like that. He brought us back into the game.”
The goal was Herb’s second of the district playoffs. He’s scored or assisted in all three of the Tigers’ playoff wins, including his goal in Saturday’s championship game.
“Josh put it on the frame and the keeper dropped it right there and it was a tap-in,” Herb said. “Disjointed goals are as good as long ones.”
Fleetwood (19-1-1) outscored the Crusaders 10-1 in the first half and held the lead for the majority of the first 40 minutes.
“The shots definitely made them tired,” Hernandez said. “Finally, we were going to enter.”
The Tigers continued that momentum in the second half and Hernandez scored less than three minutes into the second half. The goal was the product of a few quick passes from Fleetwood, as senior Owen Schlegel connected with Hernandez, who finished from inside the 18-yard box.
“It means the world,” Hernandez said of the win. “After being knocked out by Oley (Valley in the County Quarter-Finals), we never wanted anything more than that.”
The Tigers held their lead until the end, limiting Lancaster Catholic to just two shots on goal in the final 40 minutes.
“We played well tonight,” said Schlegel. “We didn’t really give them too many opportunities. We did our job.”
The Tigers will look to continue their success in the first round of the state playoffs when they host Danville on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
“Hard work gets you far,” Schlegel said. “I hope we continue like this.”