Deer Lakes falls in overtime of PIAA soccer final

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Saturday, November 17, 2018 | 4:00 PM


HERSHEY — It had all the makings of another fantastic finish in a storybook postseason run.

This time, however, Deer Lakes didn’t get its happy ending.

Aiden Negron of Fleetwood scored with 10 minutes, 14 seconds remaining in overtime, giving the District 2 runner-up a 1-0 victory over Deer Lakes in the PIAA Class AA boys soccer championship game Saturday at Hersheypark Stadium. The best boys soccer season in Deer Lakes history ended one victory shy of the program’s first state title.

“That’s how the game goes,” Deer Lakes coach Jordan Wiegand said. “It’s a fun game, and sometimes not one, but that’s how it goes.”

Negron’s score — a golden goal in every sense for Fleetwood (20-6-1) — brought a sudden and shocking conclusion to Deer Lakes’ first PIAA tournament appearance, which began with a double-overtime victory followed by a pair of thrilling finishes that brought the Lancers to Hershey.

With the roller coasters of Hershey Park visible beyond the stadium gates, Deer Lakes (21-2-1) did its best to provide its fans one more thrill. Instead, Fleetwood won its first state title since 2000.

“It could have went either way,” Wiegand said. “They got the better of us, but at the end of the day, I’m still very proud of Deer Lakes. These boys really left it all on the line, and as a young group, that’s all you can ask for.”

A deflected ball came through to Negron in the box, whose shot eluded Deer Lakes senior goalkeeper Jesse Greyshock midway through the first 20-minute overtime period.

“I thought when we started getting down the wings later in the second half, we started getting to them a little bit,” Fleetwood coach Keith Schlegel said. “That’s the way we want to play, and they were very good at keeping us from playing that way for a long period of time.

“Overtime, we wanted to come right after them. We did the right things and put the ball in the net.”

Greyshock, one of just two senior starters for Deer Lakes made seven saves, including several brilliant stops.

“Jesse’s an unbelievable keeper,” Wiegand said. “That kid has been a leader since last year, my first year back, and ever since then, he’s just been taking control of the team. (He’s) a good vocal leader, but just a great presence in the net.”

Fleetwood played with the benefit of the wind in the overtime period and took advantage.

The Tigers also had the wind at their backs as they controlled possession through a scoreless first half, but Greyshock stood tall in net for Deer Lakes. The senior dove to stop a Lucas Strange attempt in the fifth minute, then made a pair of saves — including a stuff of a point-blank rebound attempt at the post — in the 18th minute. He had five saves at the break.

Deer Lakes struggled to establish its own possession, getting much of its offense from set plays. Fleetwood’s Sam Schappell saved the Lancers’ lone two shots on goal in the first half, from Michael Sullivan and Carson McCoy.

The Lancers found their footing in the second half, but couldn’t find the back of the net. Schappell stopped a point-blank opportunity from Dorman, while Greyshock and the Deer Lakes defense kept Fleetwood off the board despite a pair of scrambles in the box in the final 10 minutes of regulation.

“I really do think we did the best that we could,” Wiegand said. “Once again, it could have went in the back of the net for us a few times, could have went in the back of the net for them a few times early on.”

Not one to consider the overall season during his team’s school-record run, Wiegand began to do so Saturday.

“At the end of the day, these guys showed they’re second in the state,” he said. “It’s hard now, but I’m sure looking back now that we finally get to reflect on our season, these boys will realize what an amazing feat they did.

“Now that these guys have been there, it’s hopefully an expectation and a benchmark that these guys, these great senior leaders, left this team with moving forward.”

Doug Gulasy is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Doug at dgulasy@tribweb.com or via Twitter @dgulasy_Trib.

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