One word could describe how State College played its District 6-10 Class AAA PIAA sub-regional playoff game with Erie Cathedral Prep.
The Little Lions scored 11 goals in the first half and then pulled back the reins in a 17-0 rout of the Ramblers on Friday at Memorial Field.
“One of our pregame goals was to possess the ball,” State College coach Jeff King said. “We certainly did that in the first half. I’m not sure the ball was at their (Cathedral Prep) end of the field very much. The guys executed very well today.”
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King’s team possessed the ball right away thanks in part to faceoff player Dylan Sechler, who lost just one faceoff the entire game when he was in the circle. The Little Lions held a 14-2 advantage in the category with Sechler, who will try to walk on at Penn State, securing 10 of those.
“Possessions are very cruical to the game,” Sechler said. “Our attack definitely took advantage off it. I’ve got to thank the win guys Nate King and Christian Restivo because without them I’m not as good as I really am.”
King was very impressed with his “fogo guy”.
“He’s been a fogo guy for us for three years now,” He said of his senior midfielder. “He had a really, really good game. The last few games he has done a nice job getting the ball to the wings. It’s really a unit effort but it starts with him. He wins his faceoff and gets it to the wings and we get it to the offense.”
State College’s offense was clicking on all cylinders right away. Will Harvey got the scoring started with 10:29 remaining in the first quarter. Greg Manno, PJ Bachman and Jon Seighman (2 goals) tallied the remaining scores to give the Little Lions a 5-0 advantage after one quarter.
“Obviously as a team, we did really well,” Seighman, who finished with four goals, said. “Anytime you put 17 goals up, it doesn’t really matter what our defense does. We like to take the pressure off early and it was good to get the pressure off our defense early.”
Things continued to roll for the State College offense with the Little Lions scoring six more goals in the second quarter. Harvey collected two goals, Bachman and Seighman had one each and Brady Franks tallied two with the second being his 100th career goal.
“It feels really good,” Franks said of reaching the milestone. “Its something I’ve worked for. It’s not all about individual goals but its definitely feels good to get it. If it wasn’t for everybody else on this team, I wouldn’t ever come close to 100 goals.”
King spoke highly of the newly minted 100-goal scorer.
“He’s going to be a collegiate player next year and he showed it today,” he said. “He was just moving off the ball and with the ball and thats what it takes.”
State College finished the game off by scoring six total goals in the second half. Seighman collected his fourth and final goal to open the half and that was good enough to lead the team with Bachman, who netted two other goals.
“They were coming out really far on our (midfielders),” King said. “Jon Seighman possesses some really good speed, so he was able to go right by them.”
Franks collected one more goal and Nick Brooks and Jack Sheehan finished off the scoring for the Little Lions, respectively. Franks finished the game with three goals but tallied four assists to lead State College.
Little Lions starting goalie Noah Schwab and Dan McOsker combined for the shutout. Schwab made five saves and McOsker nabbed one.
State College moved into the first round of the PIAA Class AAA playoffs and will play the loser of North Allegheny and Mt. Lebanon, who played Friday night, on Wednesday with a site and time to be determined.
King knows that the next round won’t be easy for the Little Lions.
“The next game is going to be a lot tougher,” King said. “We’re going to have a monumental effort to get past that next game.”