Boys Soccer: Knights hope to enact revenge on the Bears

By Dylan O'Toole, Round Table Sports Editor

The Middletown High School boys soccer team had a sour taste in their mouths coming into the season. Oakdale beat the Knights three times last season, including a victory to knock the Knights out of the postseason.

That thought propelled the Knights to victory over the Bears earlier this season on Oct. 3. The Knights thoroughly dominated the game, and came away with a 1-0 victory.

“Once we finally beat them, it gave us so much confidence,” said Knights junior midfielder Clay Smith. “We know we can do it again, especially at our home field.”

Tonight at six pm the Knights will play Oakdale at home in the 2A West Section I semifinals.

The Knights have dominated their home field this season, putting up a 6-0-1record at home in addition to their 10-3-1 record overall.

Middletown boasts wins against Urbana, Oakdale and Fallston at home.

“We’ve got home field advantage,” said Knights junior midfielder Jonathan Tatem. “That’s what we worked for during the season.”

Oakdale is coming off of a blowout victory over Williamsport in the sectional quarterfinals. The Bears took down the Wildcats 4-0 with two goals coming from Jay Ullrich, and a goal each coming from Joe Gula and Nick Schwarzenberg.

The win improved the Bears record to 13-3 on the season.

Even after the Bears impressive win against Williamsport, they could be lacking some confidence after their loss at Middletown earlier this year.

“We know they’re going to be scared coming into this game,” said Tatem. “We just have to be able to capitalize.”

The Knights are fresh off of a dominant 3-0 victory against Catoctin. Smith scored twice for the Knights and senior defender Marshall Truitt scored the other goal.

“We have to come out fast,” said Smith. “We know that Oakdale doesn’t handle adversity very well.”

The Bears lost two of their key players early in the season to behavioral issues, and the Knights are hoping to take advantage of the void left in their absence.

“If we come out quick and string passes together to get an early goal, we know we can finish it off,” said Tatem

Confidence is emanating from the Knights players, a sign that they are up to the challenge of taking down the team that has given them troubles in the past.

“We know that Oakdale plays with a lot of intensity,” said Smith. “We have to match that.”