Warriors win ‘The Battle of the Boot’

September 15, 2011
By Kelly Prendergast
Sports Editor/ Lycourier

The Lycoming College men’s soccer team had a thrilling 1-0 golden goal win over the Susquehanna Crusaders in the 11th annual Battle of the Boot at the Shangraw Athletic Complex on Sept. 9.

As a result of the win, the five Warrior seniors, Matt Long, Kevin Bishop, Bob Ziegler, Josh Miller and Wilston, became the first group to win the Boot twice during their career.

“The Battle of the Boot” is the infamous annual soccer game between Lycoming College and Susquehanna University for local bragging rights. The two schools are only 45 miles apart.

The trophy awarded to the winner of the event is a bronzed cleat mounted on a wooden platform. The plaque on the platform reads, “Susquehanna vs. Lycoming.” The host for this incredible grudge-match switches between the rivals annually.

Known for its rowdiness and extreme excitement, fans travel the 45 miles to the opposing school to insure a solid fan base, even for the away school. Every year each field is decorated with both schools’ colors, and T-shirts are usually made and sold, so fans can show support for their team.

In 2010, the rivalry game set a record attendance as 729 fans came out for the game in Selinsgrove.

Every year both teams step up for this heated battle, wanting to win the “Boot” and the bragging rights that come along with the victory.

This year the 11th annual Battle of the Boot was hosted at Lycoming College’s Shangraw Athletic Complex. Susquehanna led the series 8-2, but there was a sense of hope and to win because during the last meeting in Williamsport, the Warriors walked away with the “Boot” with a 3-0 win. The Warriors were determined to win the trophy back on their home field.

Nearly 500 fans showed up in their Blue and Gold “Battle of the Boot” T-shirts to support the Lycoming Men’s Soccer team. They hoped for an exciting game and that is exactly what they got.

“The entire team was hyped before the game and we knew the importance of winning. We also understood that if we came out focused and ready to play for the full 90 minutes that we were going to win. The hard work we had completed in our practices and previous games had prepared us for this intense game,” senior defender Bob Ziegler said.

The first 94 minutes consisted of well-balanced play between the two teams, but in the 95th minute, five minutes into overtime, Lycoming finally found the back of the net.

It all started when junior midfielder Mike Krebs found some space on the field, and senior forward Randon Wilston added a quick tap, that allowed junior forward Charlie Vess to get behind the Crusader’s defense.

Vess beat the defense and the goalie, ripping a shot to the upper left side of the net, scoring a phenomenal goal that led the Lycoming College Men’s soccer team to a thrilling 1-0 victory over rival Susquehanna.

Junior goalkeeper James Quinn also had an exceptional performance, making 10 saves and recording his first shutout of the season. For his effort he was awarded the “Boot MVP.”

“It was such an exhilarating game to play because so much was at stake. We made every play count and this win showed us that as a team we can accomplish any task we take on together. Overall, we were ecstatic that we got the trophy back,” Ziegler said.

Making the victory even sweeter was that Ziegler’s brother,?Zach, is a defender for the Crusaders.