At the beginning of the season, Ben Lewis set goals for himself, his team, and the season he was about to embark on with the Sullivan County boys’ soccer team. At the beginning of the season, those goals seemed far off as practices started to open. Last Thursday night, as Sullivan County attempted to advance
At the beginning of the season, Ben Lewis set goals for himself, his team, and the season he was about to embark on with the Sullivan County boys’ soccer team.
At the beginning of the season, those goals seemed far off as practices started to open. Last Thursday night, as Sullivan County attempted to advance in the District 4 Class A playoffs, Lewis completed multiple goals with one swing of his foot.
Lewis scored a goal as part of a Sullivan County win over Galeton. It was his second hat trick in as many tries, but more importantly, the goal qualified his team for the PIAA State Playoffs, scored Lewis’ 50th career goal, and advanced the Griffins into the District 4 Championship.
“It felt amazing,” Lewis said. “The bigger picture is, I’ve always wanted to play soccer at states, and we got that done today, and I got the 50th. It all just felt so great.”
Lewis opened the postseason with a four-goal performance against East Juniata. Sullivan County entered as the higher seed along with a winning record. East Juniata was behind in both of those categories as it missed out on a .500 record by one game, earning the No. 7 seed.
The Tigers played much better than a No. 7 seed, challenging the Griffins throughout the game. Lewis had two breakaway goals to beat the defense in the early portions of the game.
“We didn’t expect the speed that we saw from No. 10 (Lewis),” East Juniata coach Mike Ryan said. “He had a breakaway, two of them actually. I switched formations as quickly as I thought necessary, but in the end, it was those two breakaways that beat us. The other goals were ones that should be scored.”
East Juniata scored the first two goals of the second half to tie Sullivan County. That’s when Lewis added to his growing postseason legacy as he connected with a goal to give the Griffins a lead it would hold for good.
The contest served as a little bit of a revenge game for Lewis, who was knocked out of the playoffs as a freshman by the Tigers.
“If felt good, because I was thinking about that loss my freshman year,” Lewis said. “It felt good to get that. It means a lot to me. We got knocked out early last year, and I had to come out and give everything I had. So did the guys and we were able to win.”
The game-winner was great, but Lewis continued to play well as he scored three goals to advance his team into the championship with a win over Galeton. The memorable goal came in the opening 10 minutes of the second half and stopped the game as teammates leaped onto Lewis, who collected the ball and immediately attempted to get the game going.
Lewis will continue to add to his postseason run, but the shot against Galeton will be one fans, and players remember for a while.
- January 16, 2019