A victory was in the air Tuesday night at Hollidaysburg Junior High School. It just wasn't for the District 6 champion Richland boys soccer team.

Camp Hill put three goals on the board during the first half and went on to a 5-0 shutout of the Rams. Richland ends its season at 15-6-1, with a team that will be graduating only a pair of seniors - Nic Berkey and Steve Sacerino.

The Lions defense led the No. 3 seed from District 3, winning most of the battles through the air as the Rams struggled to get offensive players free in the box.

"They were a very aggressive team and beat us to the ball," Richland coach Dan Sichak said. "They outplayed us all around. I thought it could have - should have - been a little closer, but whenever they are winning 90 percent of contested balls, and you don't have shots on goal, it's tough to say that you could have beaten the team."

Lions senior Adam Smith scored twice, as did junior Mike Leach. Nick Kline added the final goal for Camp Hill, which exploited its speed against the Richland defense.

"We realized our strengths as a team," Leach said. "When Adam and I can stay tight, they can play through balls and everyone moves up as a group and we run on it. It's a whole team effort."

Both of Leach's goals came off corner kicks, an aspect Sichak noticed his team struggling with during the game.

"One of the things we didn't do well enough was mark up on their cornerkicks and throw-ins down in our defensive end of the field," Sichak said. "Twice, we left a guy unmarked and both times, that guy scored. That was a back-breaker."

Camp Hill coach Dwayne Lawrence knew that Richland was only returning one starter and was pleased with the way his team attacked after a rocky start.

"I thought the first 15 minutes were key," he said. "I was disappointed that we missed some chances that were golden, but then we got into a rhythm and exerted our will, and we never let them get in a rhythm.

"I know they have some dangerous players, and for us to deny them the opportunity to do well, and to not get in a rhythm, was good for us."



Matt Jordan can be reached at 532-5080 or mjordan@tribdem.com.

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