NTL BOYS SOCCER: HORNETS GO BACK-TO-BACK IN '23
(2023-11-19)Northern Tier West Sports Report
WELLSBORO — After losing their first match of the ’23 season to Williamson, the Wellsboro Hornets ran off 10 league wins, drew a crucial draw with the Warriors and got some help from league-foes Athens and Galeton to claim their second straight NTL title.
After the 0-0 tie with Williamson in early October, the Hornets went on to win five of their final six matches .. with a 10-1 loss to 3A champ Selinsgrove being their lone blemish.
Meanwhile, Williamson suffered a 2-1 loss to 9-9 Galeton in their second-to-last regular season match, then settled for a 1-1 draw with Athens in their regular-season finale to finish 9-1-2 in the league .. handing the championship to the 10-1-1 Hornets.
Following their loss to Williamson to open the season, Head Coach Todd Fitch and the Hornets outscored their next four opponents 19-3 to run their record to 4-1. A 3-0 loss to Loyalsock snapped the streak, but Wellsboro then won five matches in a row by a combined 28-3 score to improve to 9-2.
After their draw with Williamson, the Hornets won three straight, followed by the lopsided loss to Selinsgrove. They finished off the regular season with wins over Hughesville and Montoursville for a 14-3-1 record and earned the No. 4 seed in the 2A playoffs and a third match with No. 5-seed Williamson.
The Hornets won 3-0 to advance to the semifinals where they’d fall 4-1 to eventual-champ Midd-West to end their season.
The Hornets scored 66 goals this season .. 3.3/game .. and allowed 31 .. 1.6/game.
Senior Caden Smith led the Hornets with 19 goals and had seven assists, while junior Micaiah Fitch had 16 goals and added 14 assists. Smith finishes his varsity career for the Hornets with 43 goals scored and 22 assists.
Senior goalie Mitchell Butler recorded 81 saves in 1598 minutes of play and had a 1.552 goals-against-average with six shutouts on the season .. including a string of four straight clean sheets in 6-0 wins over Northeast Bradford, Galeton and Towanda and their 0-0 draw with Williamson.
Junior Lucas Cuneo scored 13 goals and had nine assists on the season to complete the Hornets’ ‘Big 3’ on offense while juniors Micah Vickery, Gabe Sprouse and Jack Bryant led a strong Wellsboro defense.
Senior Jacob Abadi added six goals and three assists, while Sprouse scored four goals, junior Alex Citrino had two goals and an assist in limited action due to an injury and Bryant, sophomore David Seeling and seniors Dillion Boyce and Nehemiah Burrows each had one goal on the season.
The Hornets graduate nine seniors .. Smith, Butler, Boyce, Noah Morey, Abadi, Wyatt Roth, Watson Feil, Ian Hoose and Burrows .. and had nine juniors on the roster who are set to return .. Vickery, Fitch, Cuneo, Citrino, Sprouse, River Moyer, Owen Stevens, Bryant and Braeden Abernathy .. along with sophomores Seeling, Jude Cuneo and Camden Tom.
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