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Candelario gives Fleetwood win over Exeter and Berks title in boys soccer

Josh Candelario scored the tiebreaking goal in the 70th minute and lifted Fleetwood to a 2-1 victory over Exeter in the Berks Boys Soccer League final Thursday night at New Schaefferstown.

The top-seeded Tigers (15-5) won their first Berks championship since 2018 and their 22nd overall. They’ll begin play in the District 3 Class 3A playoffs later this month.

“It feels amazing,” Candelario said. “We’ve been working so hard for this since the summer.”

With the score 1-1, Candelario drove toward the net and hit a shot off an Exeter defender and into the left corner for the game-winner.

“I realized in the beginning of the season that as a striker I wasn’t doing what I was supposed to be doing, which is taking shots and scoring goals,” he said. “I heard Justin (Hartline) calling for the ball, but I saw the little gap on the left side.

“Even though it was a deflection, it still ended up being the exact spot I wanted it to be. It ended up being perfect.”

A junior in his first year on the varsity, Candelario had scored the only goal in the Tigers’ 1-0 victory over Oley Valley in the semifinals.

“This means so much to me,” he said while fighting back tears of joy. “I’ve been working so hard for this.”

Just 24 seconds before Candelario’s game-winner, Mike Moser raced through the defense and scored off an assist from Jared Green to give Exeter a 1-1 tie.

The seventh-seeded Eagles (8-10-3), who started the season 1-7-1, saw their improbable run in the Berks playoffs and their season end. They did not qualify for the District 3 Class 5A playoffs.

“Exeter’s a really talented team,” Tigers coach Keith Schlegel said. “They’re good. They were putting a lot of pressure on us and we were a little lucky just to keep them out. Then they caught us off guard and hit that long ball. The guy (Moser) buried it.

“Josh drove right after them. He was aggressive. You gotta shoot to score.”

Fleetwood’s Nathaniel Herb scored the only goal early in the first half and the Tigers withstood Exeter’s furious second-half attack.

Less than 11 minutes into the game, Fleetwood opened the scoring when freshman Davin Millisock hit a pretty corner kick to Herb, a sophomore who headed it past goalkeeper Ryan Peterson with 29:57 left in the first half.

Millisock’s corner kick immediately followed Peterson’s save on Ty Seidel’s shot from inside the 18-yard line.

The Tigers kept the pressure on the Eagles for the next 20 minutes or so. The speedy Millisock drilled a ball just over the crossbar before Petersen stopped Candelario’s shot from within 15 feet.

Exeter created its best scoring opportunity of the half when Green got free and ripped a shot off the hands of goalkeeper William Maurek with about four minutes remaining.

In the second half, the Eagles’ Harrison Davis drilled a shot off the crossbar with about 25 minutes to go.

Fleetwood dedicated its championship run to the memory of longtime coach Ray Buss, who passed away earlier this year.

“This is great for all Coach Buss and his family did for Fleetwood soccer,” Schlegel said. “The kids were talking about it all week.”

The Fleetwood boys soccer team gathers after beating Exeter to win the Berks title. (MATTHEW KNAUB — READING EAGLE).


Source: Berkshire mont

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