Restarts can be deadly. Restarts of a restart can be even more so.
After officials asked Lancaster Country Day to retake a free kick in the 30th minute of the Cougars' District Three Class 1A boys soccer quarterfinal versus York Catholic, the Cougars pounced.
On the kick, junior Matt Lane drove in a head-ball pass from Mason Lee for the first of his two goals as the third-seeded Cougars (16-3-1) defeated the sixth-seeded Irish 3-0 Wednesday afternoon at Lancaster Country Day School.
"That's probably the best goal we've had all season," Lane said of the ice-breaker. "Tayler (Eynon) gave a great ball to Mason Lee, our sophomore striker. I didn't know if he was going to (take it) himself but very unselfish header. I just did a good job of getting my body over it and putting it low."
The offensive chemistry continued in the second half, as Eynon tacked on a goal on an assist from Lane 10 minutes in. Then, with nine minutes left to play, Lane stole a ball in the offensive third and drove another shot past York Catholic keeper Ethan Higgins (six saves) to set the final margin.
Turning point: York Catholic (10-8) made a run one minute before the half, leading to a loose ball in front of the goal. But the Cougars’ defense managed to deflect the ball over the net as the Irish finished without a shot on goal in the first half.
Then in the opening minute of the second half, York Catholic's Seth Falvey was unable to put enough leg on Nick Bartkowiak's centering pass from the wing, as LCD goalkeeper Sam Nelson (three saves) scooped it up to maintain a one-goal advantage.
Key statistic: Six. The number of shots that went wide or high for York Catholic. The Cougars held a 9-3 edge with shots on goal.
Quotable: "Great team effort," Cougars coach Dale Mylin said of the first goal. "It was good recognition to see what was going on and to exploit what they saw as a weakness in defense. Sometimes it works, next time it doesn't. That time it worked."
Up next: Lancaster Country Day will face the winner of No. 2 Kutztown versus No. 7 Greenwood on Saturday.