Ghosts clinch SOL Amer­i­can crown

Abing­ton avenges early-sea­son loss against Wissahickon to se­cure con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship

The Reporter (Lansdale, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Ed Mor­lock emor­lock@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @emor09 on Twit­ter

ABING­TON >> It didn’t take long for Abing­ton’s boys soc­cer team to put its stamp on the Sub­ur­ban One League Amer­i­can Con­fer­ence.

In their first sea­son in the league, the Ghosts avenged their only loss of the sea­son and topped Wissahickon, 4-0, to clinch the cham­pi­onship Thurs­day af­ter­noon at Memo­rial Field.

“It means ev­ery­thing,” Abing­ton cap­tain Jack Fail­ing said. “We’ve been work­ing hard all year — prac­tic­ing hard. It just feels so good to fi­nally achieve it.”

The Ghosts (15-1, 11-1) took the lead late in the first half. They failed to score on a cor­ner, but man­aged to keep the ball in the of­fen­sive end.

Sean Touey flicked a throw-in and Jae­den Joyce sent it to the back-post, where Nevin Baer was able to get enough of the ball to put it into the goal.

“It was such a relief,” Fail­ing said of scor­ing first. “We had a cou­ple chances in the be­gin­ning that we should have fin­ished on, but it was fi­nally good to get that first goal and get that mo­men­tum rolling.”

The lead dou­bled to 2-0 shortly af­ter half­time.

Abing­ton was awarded a penalty kick af­ter Wissahickon goal­keeper Jun Yuh was called for hit­ting the back of a Ghosts player’s head when at­tempt­ing to punch the ball on a cor­ner.

Fail­ing stepped up to take the PK and buried it into the right side of the net.

“Last prac­tice we tried (penalty kicks) for like 25 min­utes,” he said. “We went down the line to see who could make the most. I felt con­fi­dent to­day so I went up there and took it.”

Tro­jans (8-5-2, 7-3-2) coach Stu­art Mal­colm was not happy with the of­fi­ci­at­ing that led to both of Abing­ton’s goals.

“It was the con­sis­tency,” he said. “They called an ob­struc­tion on our play when a throw-in came into the box, which he couldn’t ex­plain. Then four (Abing­ton) play­ers were around our goal­keeper as he went up for it and nei­ther one of (the of­fi­cials) de­cided that was ob­struc­tion. The play was down there at our end for the next five, six sec­onds and they re­cy­cled the ball and scored. If we get the free kick in there and get the ball out, we’re look­ing at 0-0 at half­time. As for the other de­ci­sion, no one is go­ing to be able to ex­plain that to me ... Randy (Gar­ber) the Abing­ton coach — we talked about it and said it’s just a shame for the boys.”

Wissahickon faces Up­per Dublin Tues­day night at Talen En­ergy Sta­dium. Trail­ing 2-0 with more than 30 min­utes left in the

game, Mal­colm pulled most of his starters from the game to en­sure they would be avail­able to play on the Ma­jor League Soc­cer pitch.

“We have a game Tues­day night at Talen En­ergy Sta­dium,” Mal­colm said. “It’s go­ing to be a fun night for the boys. I didn’t want any of them re­ceiv­ing a red card from the of­fi­cials with re­gards to the frus­tra­tions that we had with the early de­ci­sions.

“I was re­ally proud of the per­for­mance the boys put in for 34 min­utes un­til the de­ci­sion went against us. It was re­ally even and we had a cou­ple op­por­tu­ni­ties. It was shap­ing up to be a great game. I’m just dis­ap­pointed. I had to make the de­ci­sion that I thought was

in the best in­ter­est of the pro­gram.”

Less than 20 sec­onds af­ter the five Tro­jans starters were subbed out, Abing­ton ex­tended its lead to 3-0. Sean Touey car­ried the ball up the left side of the field and beat the keeper to the right.

An­to­nio DiTri fin­ished off the scor­ing for the Ghosts. His shot de­flected off a Tro­jans de­fender and found the back of the net.

Abing­ton en­tered Thurs­day’s match ranked No. 5 in the District 1 Class 4A power rank­ings. Wissahickon was No. 15.

“We’ll look to get some wins next week and get as high as we can,” Mal­colm said. “As al­ways try to make some noise in the play­offs.”

GENE WALSH — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Abing­ton’s Vin­cent Carosella drib­bles up field near Wissahickon’s Ed­die Fortescue dur­ing their game Thurs­day.

GENE WALSH — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Abing­ton’s Sean Touey and Wissahickon goalie Jun Yuh bat­tle for the ball in front of the net dur­ing their game Thurs­day.

GENE WALSH — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Wissahickon’s Jack Quinn heads the ball away from Abing­ton’s Gavin O’Neil dur­ing their game Thurs­day.

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