C.dock falls to New Hope

News-Herald (Perkasie, PA) - - OPINION - By Mike Cabrey

It was not for a lack of de­sire that the Christo­pher Dock boys soc­cer team had its sea­son end in the Dis­trict One Class A semifinDOs IRr WKH WKLrd sWrDLJKW sea­son.

,W wDs D ODFN RI finLsKLnJ their scor­ing chances that did in the Pi­o­neers Fri­day night.

While sec­ond-seeded, Dock could not put a ball into the net on a num­ber RI RSSRrWunLWLHs Ln WKH firsW half, Jack Natale scored off a cor­ner kick 8:3V from half­time as No. 3 New Hope-Sole­bury came away with the 1-0 win at Christo­pher Dock.

“Came in at the be­gin­ning of this year, want­ing to get that dis­trict ti­tle, I al­most wanted that more than the state ti­tle,” Dock se­nior Ryan Thomas said. “And it’s just that I guess it wasn’t our year.”

Christo­pher Dock had earned a pair of one-goal vic­to­ries over the Lions in the reg­u­lar sea­son, but af­ter the two-time de­fend­ing dis­trict and PIAA champs went ahead on Natale’s goal, the Pi­o­neers were un­able cre­ate a con­sis­tent offensive at­tack needed to col­lect an equal­izer.

“We never es­tab­lished any rhythm what­so­ever in this game,” Dock coach Matt Moyer said. “I credit New Hope. They take ad­van­tage of a set piece and that’s some­thing we talk about as a pro­gram, too, how im­por­tant that mo­ment is and they took ad­van­tage of that mo­ment.”

In the open­ing 40 min­utes, Dock was stopped twice by New Hope-Sole­bury goal­keeper Lu­cas Ebel­ing, and was also un­able to take ad­van­tage of Ebel­ing los­ing a ball inside the Lions’ 18yard box.

“:H’vH JRW WR finLsK when we have op­por­tu­ni­ties. We’re not go­ing to get op­por­tu­ni­ties,” Thomas sDLd. “TKHy finLsK Rn WKHLr op­por­tu­nity. And we just didn’t.”

New Hope-Sole­bury ad­vances to face No. 5 Plum­stead Chris­tian in the dis­trict finDO 0RndDy DW D sLWH Dnd time to be an­nounced. In WKH firsW JDPH RI D sHPLfinDO dou­ble­header at Christo­pher Dock, Plum­stead up­set topseeded Faith Chris­tian 1-0 in dou­ble over­time.

“Last year and the year be­fore we had ex­cep­tional teams, ex­cep­tional play­ers,” said Natale of the Lions’ two state ti­tle sides. “This year, we started out, we knew we had a very good team, but we didn’t know we were go­ing to be at the level we were the past two years. But I think the last cou­ple weeks, our team’s re­ally proved it­self and made a name for New Hope again.”

Christo­pher Dock won nine of 10 Dis­trict One Class A ti­tles from 2000-200V, with New Hope-Sole­bury be­ing the lone non-Dock champ in 2006. But since win­ning the last of their four PIAA cham­pi­onships dur­ing that run in ’0V, the Pi­o­neers KDvH EHHn unDEOH WR find D way out of the dis­trict tour­na­ment.

“One of our ob­jec­tives is to get in the state playoffs. So, yes, on a per­sonal level, I’m very dis­ap­pointed,” Moyer said. “But you know what, you just keep mov­ing on, you keep coach­ing, you keep train­ing kids to get bet­ter. And there’s no giv­ing up around here.”

New Hope-Sole­bury, mean­while, has won its last 16 post­sea­son con­tests — eight in Dis­trict One, eight in PIAA play.

In scor­ing the game’s lone goal, Natale was un­marked right in the mid­dle of the Pi­o­neers’ box, and was able to make a free run onto an Alan Smith cor­ner kick and bury the ball into the back of the goal.

“We work on those plays all the time. Some­times it just works out that way,” Natale said. “Dock made a mis­take, didn’t mark me. Wide open, easy header.”

EDrOLHr Ln WKH firsW KDOI, Ebel­ing kept ju­nior Ethan Neal from scor­ing at the left post af­ter Neal re­ceived a cross on the ground from se­nior Robby John­son. Se­nior Matt Bel­jan tested the Lions keeper with a shot from the top of the box, but Ebel­ing par­ried it over the cross­bar.

Neal had an­other op­por­tu­nity as Ebel­ing lost con­trol of the ball af­ter com­ing off his line, but Neal pushed his shot wide right.

For Mont­gomery Me­dia / MARK C. PSORAS

Christo­pher Dock’s Robby John­son and New Hope-Sole­bury’s Jack Natale go for a ball dur­ing Fri­day’s Dis­trict One Class AA semi­fi­nal ac­tion.

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