Tennent upsets Upper Dublin

The Panthers' Tony Ciarlante finds the net past Upper Dublin goalie Scott Wexler to give William Tennent a 2-1 lead. He scored again with 45 seconds left in the game to seal the victory.
The Panthers' Tony Ciarlante finds the net past Upper Dublin goalie Scott Wexler to give William Tennent a 2-1 lead. He scored again with 45 seconds left in the game to seal the victory. (MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer)
Posted: October 24, 2013

Fran McCallister, fired up, walked to the sideline. The senior on the William Tennent soccer team looked at his teammates who had drifted to the sideline to grab some water during an injury timeout and realized he had something to say.

Nine minutes or the end of the season, he yelled. Nine minutes, he repeated enthusiastically.

For the first time in McCallister's four seasons with the team, the Panthers qualified for the District 1 Class AAA tournament, as the 22d seed, and they won their first-round contest by upsetting 11th-seeded Upper Dublin, 3-1, Tuesday.

"It's the best feeling in the world," Tennent's Johnny Ciarlante said. "It's my first playoff game - I wanted to win the first one. That's what we did, and now we can focus on the next game."

The game didn't always look as if it would turn out in favor of the Panthers (9-6-3). The Cardinals (13-5) dominated possession early, opening the scoring in the 14th minute.

With great one-touch passing and excellent ball movement, Upper Dublin was in control and could have been up two or three goals, barring a few near-misses.

But then the Ciarlante brothers struck for Tennent, with senior midfielder Johnny tying the game on a beautiful header with less than six minutes remaining in the first half.

His younger brother Tony, a sophomore, gave the Panthers the lead with 13 minutes remaining in the game, when he pushed the ball past keeper Scott Wexler after a breakaway.

"If there's one person I'd want to watch score, it would be him," Johnny Ciarlante said.

Tony Ciarlante sealed the game with 45 seconds left with his second goal of the afternoon, causing the Tennent bench to erupt in celebration.

"At the end, I was just feeling it," Tony Ciarlante said.

The Panthers' season will continue Thursday when they face Souderton, a first-round winner over Spring-Ford on penalty kicks Tuesday night.

McCallister knows the deal.

Eighty minutes. Eighty minutes, or it's the end of Tennent's season.

William Tennent 1 2 – 3

Upper Dublin 1 0 – 1

Goals: WT-Johnny Ciarlante, Tony Ciarlante 2; UD-Zach Arnold.

Saves: WT-Ben Zietz 6; UD-Scott Wexler 4.

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