Manheim Twp. vs. Hempfield- L-L Boys Soccer

Hempfield's Nate Schwartz (18) sinks a penalty shot for the winning point against Manheim Twp. during second half action of an L-L section 1 boys soccer game at Hempfield High School Thursday September 16, 2021.

DALLASTOWN — Mark Ashley would have loved to avoid penalty kicks, or even overtime, during Tuesday’s District Three 4A boys soccer semifinal.

Still, the Hempfield coach knows that PKs and extra time helped his team advance in district play, not once, but twice.

Both Black Knights district games required overtime, one of which they won on penalty kicks. They topped South Western in OT and Manheim Township in PKs.

However, Hempfield’s post-regulation luck ran out against host Dallastown as the Wildcats converted on 4-of-5 of their penalty kicks to advance to Saturday’s championship game as 2-1 (4-2) winners.

“We really wanted to try to win it in regulation. We didn’t want to go to PKs again,” Ashley said afterward. “But we felt if it went there, we were going to be comfortable with it because we’ve been there before and been successful.”

Fortunately, the Knights already locked up a PIAA tournament berth. They will head to states as either the third or fourth team from District 3, depending on the outcome of the Dallastown vs Central Dauphin final. CD beat Warwick 3-1. Hempfield goalkeeper Noah Felty kept things going with a brilliant save on the Wildcats’ fourth PK. Mason Orth brought the Knights within 3-2 in the kicks, but Dallastown’s Owen Peri clinched the game with his bomb to the top corner.

Nearly five minutes into the second overtime, Felty’s diving save stoned Kaden Kashner on a free kick from 25 yards out and the rebound was shot over the goal.

“He played very well. He’s kept us in the game,” Ashley said of Felty. “He’s come through so big in PKs. It was just unfortunate tonight.”

A penalty kick helped Hempfield even up Tuesday’s contest when a Wildcat was called for a handball in the box. Nate Schwartz calmly tied the game with 15:09 remaining in regulation.

Schwartz almost won it with four minutes left in the second overtime, but Dallastown keeper Jacob Morouse dove across the line to knock the ball away.

A bad bounce helped Dallastown open the scoring less than five minutes into the game when Kashner’s hard cross bounced off a Knights defender and into the cage.

Trailing 1-0 at halftime, Hempfield (12-6-1) came out patient and executed throughout the second half.

“That’s exactly what we talked about at halftime,” said Ashley. “We had to be patient and keep playing our game, not panic and not rush it. It felt like we moved the ball better, our possession was much better.

“We found some pockets where we could get the ball in dangerous areas. We created some chances, we just couldn’t finish, credit to their defense and their keeper.”

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