Deer Lakes boys soccer gets back on track with much-needed section win over Burrell

Monday, September 28, 2020 | 8:42 PM

The Deer Lakes boys soccer team was looking to rebound from its first loss of the season, and its Section 2-2A contest against Burrell on Monday was exactly what the Lancers were looking for.

Deer Lakes (3-1, 3-1) passed the ball around Burrell (2-1, 2-1), maintained possession throughout the game and when the opportunity presented itself, the Lancers struck four times, twice in the first half and twice in the second, as they cruised to a 4-1 win.

“It was really important for us to bounce back tonight,” Deer Lakes midfielder Devin Murray said after his two-goal performance. “We went into Shady Side and we weren’t playing our game. We took the loss there, and our goal was to not lose any games this year. So, I think we took that anger and came out here tonight and maintained possession and played our game and that was our goal.”

Murray found the back of the net twice in the first half, scoring his first just three minutes in. The Lancers forced a corner kick and sophomore Ruger Beer sent in a ball across the middle of the box that found Murray on the back post.

“It’s happened a few times where I just kinda float in there and there’s somewhat of a smaller guy on me, so I just told Ruger to put it in there and we’ll see what happens,” Murray said.

His second goal of the night was a perfect example of what Deer Lakes coach Dan Yates is looking for from his team.

The Lancers gained possession in their defensive third and after moving the ball from side to side, they slowly forced Burrell out of their formation and found openings in the defense. As they moved into the attacking half, Murray received a pass and sent a shot over Dom Ferra’s right shoulder and into the side netting on the left side of the goal.

“We look to just exploit space, and it’s not that we try to go as fast as we can,” Yates said. “We want to move the other team and the further we go up the field, we move them to where we want them, and the gaps open up, and we’re in and we go in. It was really good from the boys tonight.”

With a two-goal lead, the Lancers controlled he rest of the game. They were able to work in younger players to gain experience and then extended the lead further with two goals from senior midfielder Mike Sullivan in the 51st and 55th minutes.

His first came off a free kick from the 20-yard line of the football field, and the second was a left-footed shot from the right side of the 18-yard box that curled past Ferra and into the back of the net.

Burrell came into the matchup Monday with an undefeated record, but the Bucs hadn’t really been challenged yet. They outscored Derry and Ligonier Valley by a combined 19-0, and Monday’s matchup was exactly what they needed.

“The other two games that we played, it was hard to find mistakes because we had the ball most of the time,” Burrell coach Andrew Kariotis said. “In this one, this is what we needed. They are obviously the measuring stick of our section, and we know where we need to be when we come back here in a couple weeks.”

Senior forward Jake Guerrini scored Burrell’s lone goal with just under nine minutes remaining.

The teams will meet again Oct. 19. Now, Burrell will look to Thursday’s matchup with Leechburg and Deer Lakes will host Ligonier Valley on Wednesday.

Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at or via Twitter .

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