With rain falling, sometimes heavily, State College’s offense centered around the “two-man game” out top.
Will Harvey and Jon Seighman worked together to create opportunities, taking turns driving toward the net and firing shots. The seniors have the speed to beat their defenders and execute that strategy, which helped the Little Lions overcome the sloppy conditions. Passing was tougher in the rain, but Harvey and Seighman continued to generate looks.
They aimed to set up one-on-one situations against short-stick defensive midfielders, a matchup Seighman feels they can exploit against any opponent. They found success Thursday at Memorial Field as Harvey scored three goals and Seighman scored one goal in regulation before going to overtime with Palmyra.
After taking the opening faceoff of the extra period, the Little Lions looked to Seighman to make a play to win the game with a short-stick defender on him.
“I took him to the cage and I thought I had the goalie low,” Seighman said.
The ball ricocheted into the air.
Dylan Horne caught the rebound and found the back of the net to lift State College to a 9-8 win over Palmyra.
Horne finished with two goals, while Matt De La Nuez, Jack Sheehan and Joe DeSandre each had one for the Little Lions (4-1).
Palmyra maintained control for much of the close game before State College took its first lead in the fourth quarter.
“We just kept clawing back into it,” State College coach Jeff King said.
Harvey scored three straight goals in the second half to put his team ahead.
On his first goal, he slipped past a defender and quickly fired a shot high past Palmyra goalie Nick Sheriff. That tied the game 6-6 with 1:07 left in the third quarter, but the Cougars regained the lead on a goal by Kyle Nolen with 10:15 left in the fourth.
He found the back of the net from 15 yards out to tie it 7-7 with 7:55 left. Twenty seconds later, with Palmyra’s Joey Giordano defending him, he rose up going to his right and buried a shot in the bottom left corner of the net to give State College the lead.
“We look to him on offense, and he definitely delivers,” Seighman said.
It was the result of the “two-man game” approach as Harvey and Seighman looked to attack often.
They try to free each other for opportunities.
“Will and I have been playing together for forever so we kind of have a chemistry, so that’s really important,” Seighman said. “I know where he is, he knows where I am, and we just kind of talk without talking.”
And they kept shooting Thursday.
After Nolen’s third goal sent the game to overtime, Seighman got the shot the Little Lions wanted.
State College’s Ryan Blonski set up the game-winning sequence by grabbing the loose ball off the faceoff.
“Ryan Blonski’s ground balls down here and at the faceoff X are usually the stat that doesn’t always get mentioned,” King said. “But those are as important as those goals and those assists.”
Seighman then made his move, driving on the right side and shooting low.
The save kicked high into the air.
“It’s a melee, a scrum at that point,” King said.
It landed in Horne’s stick, and he sent it right at the net to clinch the win.
Said King: “Dylan happened to be in the right spot at the right time.”