Harrisburg head soccer coach Mike Stewart called it a situation his team has been working for all season long.
After a 2-0 shout against Carlyle Wednesday afternoon, Stewart said his "young men made it count tonight. It was well earned victory for this Harrisburg
Harrisburg came out of the gate flat with the Indians taking control of the ball and within the first 12 minutes of the game, Carlyle had four shots at goal and was keeping the Bulldogs on their heels.
The Dogs finally settled into a groove and began to control and possess the ball. In
the 17th minute with Dogs working the ball, midfielder and junior, Dylan Butler connected with freshman, Afernee Houston, who quickly found the back of the net for HHS putting them on the board first.
The Indians fought back but could not connect with any of their shots. In the 34th minute, a controversially call against the Dogs with an indirect free kick in the box, gave Carlyle the chance to score the game but HHS was able to clear it away.
In the midst of the controversially call, both Carlyle coaches showing their displeasure, were shown red cards and ejected from the game leaving the Carlyle athletic director to take over coaching duties.
In the second half, the Indians gave their all.
They pressured the Bulldogs defense relentlessly but Harrisburg would not give in. The Dogs midfielders were able to possess and pass the ball with many opportunities on the attack but they too struggled to get past the Indians defense. As the clock ticked away and both teams trading punches, it was in the 74th minute that, once again, Houston was able to seal the Indians fate, and on a
break away run out, putting the ball past the Carlyle keeper to put the Harrisburg up by two.
Jacob Oldani had five saves in goal for the Bulldogs.
"I was very proud of these young men and how they continued to stay focused in the midst of some turmoil during that controversially call," added Stewart. "The defensive line, lead by seniors, Chad Barger and Thomas Bucinski, had their work cut for them tonight and really came through for us."
Harrisburg will play Breese Mater Dei for the regional championship Friday at 5 p.m.