Eight minutes into the Class 1A District 3 Soccer final between the Fighting Irish of York Catholic and the Halifax Wildcats at Hersheypark Stadium on Oct. 30, the sluggish Fighting Irish found themselves in a two-goal deficit, seemingly buried for good. But over the next 70 minutes, York Catholic carried the play and dominated the Wildcats in every facet of the game – time of possession, scoring chances and offensive zone time. So relentless was the pressure, it was no surprise when the Fighting Irish scored in the 49th minute to cut the lead in half.
In the closing 30 minutes, a frantic Irish finish had Halifax on the defensive, as York Catholic had several excellent looks to tie the game. But Halifax’s athletic back line defense and stout goaltending staved off the Fighting Irish’s gallant comeback. You got the feeling watching this well-played soccer match between two talented teams that 10 more minutes of clock time would have given York Catholic the win as the Wildcats’ fuel gauge was clearly on empty late in the game.
The 2-1 victory gives Halifax the number one seed in the PIAA state championships, where York Catholic looms in the same side of the bracket for a possible rematch come mid-November. And if York Catholic starts as well as they proved they can surely finish, a silver medal in the district final may be just the beginning for something very good to happen in the state tournament.
By Chris Heisey, The Catholic Witness