No. 2 Deer Lakes blanks Beth-Center for WPIAL Class 2A 1st-round victory
Hosting the first WPIAL playoff game in history Monday night, Deer Lakes wanted to give the home fans something to remember.
The Lancers tallied three goals in the first half and limited Beth-Center to one shot on goal for the night in a 5-0, Class 2A opening-round victory.
Deer Lakes controlled play and had multiple opportunities in the first half before sophomore Mike Sullivan broke through with a goal from nearly 20 yards out 10 minutes into the first half.
Sullivan had another goal later in the first half, along with another long-distance shot from Ryan Rodgers, as the Lancers built up a 3-0 advantage by the intermission.
Second-seeded Deer Lakes (16-0-1) will take on No. 7 Waynesburg on Thursday night, at a time and site to be determined. Waynesburg eliminated East Allegheny, 6-2, Monday.
Beth-Center concluded its season at 8-11.
“We were able to get a lot of chances early; we weren’t able to convert a lot of them,” Lancers coach Jordan Wiegand said. “The ratio of shots we had to those that went in was a little concern. Moving forward, you’ve got to be at your best finishing. We’ll take it, but I really think we need to improve in some areas.”
“That is a great team,” Beth-Center coach Matt Berdar said. “We’re less experienced than they are. We were hoping for less goals by them, but they had three beautiful goals. The one goal he hooked it 20 yards.”
The Bulldogs, making their first playoff appearance in five years, came into the game without their top goalkeeper, Ryan Ross, who needed a tendon in his hand reattached four games ago.
John Sape, ordinarily a midfielder, had to face the relentless Deer Lakes attack.
“He made a couple of fantastic saves,” Berdar said. “I can’t complain. My son (Michael), he’s college-bound, he was cleaning up the back end the whole time.”
Sullivan had a chance at a third goal in the first half, but the try caromed off the side of the post.
Just before the third Deer Lakes goal, Devin Murray was kicked in the shin, but continued on after a brief time out.
Nine minutes into the second half, A.J. Dorman was open and took a pass from Colton Spence to give the Lancers a 4-0 advantage. Sullivan later passed to Ronan Renter as Sape moved out of the goal box. But Zack Ankney jumped in to make the save on Renter’s shot.
Renter, however, got on the score sheet with the final goal with 22:20 left.
Benett Bauer finally got the Bulldogs’ shot on goal with 10:03 to go, but Jesse Greyshock dove to his right to preserve the shutout.
“One shot and our ‘keeper made a good save,” Wiegand said. “I was glad to see we got some pressure and our ’keeper responded. The majority of the game, our defense limited them.”
Added Wiegand: “Once again, we have to be critical of ourselves. So we need to be accountable to each other and push for the best results.”
Tyler Dobrinski, one of Beth-Center’s top players, sustained a leg injury and left the stadium on crutches.