KINGSTON — Wyoming Seminary senior goalkeeper Ryan Anderson described Tuesday night’s showdown with Meyers as a “benchmark” for the Blue Knights.
The Mohawks got the best of Wyoming Seminary in both of the meetings a season ago en route to a Wyoming Valley Conference Division 2 championship and the program’s first appearance in states. Ever since Meyers got the best of Wyoming Seminary, on its own turf, in the regular-season finale for both teams a season ago, the rematch has been in the back of the the Blue Knights’ minds.
And it showed Tuesday.
Wyoming Seminary (6-0) posted its fifth shutout of the season en route to a 1-0 victory over the Mohawks (6-1). With the win, the Blue Knights take over sole possession of first place in the Division 2.
“It’s an amazing feeling. We’ve been looking forward to this game all year just because of what happened last year,” Anderson said. “We’ve been working hard and we knew this was a benchmark if we could get over them — that we could have a good year, possibly a great ending.
“We knew that this was the game that we needed to win to make sure our season was going the way we wanted. We’ve been working really hard and just preparing every day for this game.”
It took more than 45 minutes for the Blue Knights to strike first, and only, blood.
And the offensive output came thanks to what has been Wyoming Seminary’s calling card all season — its defense.
The Blue Knights forced a turnover as the Mohawks were moving deeper into Wyoming Seminary territory. With the ball on his foot and streaking up the left sideline, Edge Miller found Luke Johns breaching the Meyers defense ahead of him.
The senior saw his opening and passed the ball just in front of a charging Johns. The sophomore took the feed and had one man to beat as he made his way down the left sideline — Meyers goalkeeper Joel Vazquez.
The junior goalie started to make his way out to Johns and make a play on the ball, but just before Vazquez could, the Sem playmaker took his shot. The ball found the back of the net and suddenly the Blue Knights were leading 1-0 with 34:57 remaining in regulation.
“It was a great through ball by Edge,” Johns said. “Great finish, nice touch — first touch. It was a lucky shot.
“Coach (Aaron) Littzi told us to come out hard the first 10 minutes of the second half, get a goal quick and just sail on from there,” Miller added. “That’s what we did and it ended up working out.”
Johns’ strike would be all the Blue Knights would need as the Wyoming Seminary defense did the rest of the work.
Led by Anderson, who made a game-high six saves, the Seminary defense limited to Meyers to just eight shots. Facing a Mohawks offense that averages more than four goals a game, Wyoming Seminary kept up its impressive defense play that has carried the Blue Knights this season.
Wyoming Seminary has allowed one goal in six games this season, with that lone goal coming in a Sept. 19 10-1 victory over GAR, a game the Blue Knights led 10-0 at halftime.
“I’m very comfortable with our defense. I rely on these guys heavily, but these guys work hard every day and couldn’t be happier to win this with them,” Anderson said. “(They makes it) a heck of a lot easier. Especially, like, Will Zeigler played amazing today. Santi (de los Rios) is getting a lot better. Colin (Sung) on the wing. Nikko (Simons) on the wing. They played incredible.”
Despite being in is first year at the helm, Littzi understands the importance of Tuesday’s win.
He was an assistant coach under Rev. Charles Carrick last season and saw the struggles against Meyers firsthand. So Littzi was more than happy to see his team celebrate Tuesday night before they refocus for Holy Redeemer on Thursday.
“I just told them I’m proud of their effort,” Littzi said. “I’m proud of their hard work. It was a team win tonight.”
Wyoming Seminary 1, Meyers 0
Meyers`0`0 — 0
Wyoming Seminary`1`0 — 1
Second half — 2. WS, Luke Johns (Edge Miller), 34:57.
Shots — MEY 8, WS 11. Saves — MEY 3 (Joel Vazquez), WS 6 (Ryan Anderson). Corner kicks — MEY 2, WS 6.
Reach DJ Eberle at 570-991-6398 or on Twitter @ByDJEberle