ERIE - The Phil Hachula to Matt Sandberg combination proved unbeatable during Warren's 4-1 regular season finale victory over McDowell Thursday at McDowell Intermediate School.
Hachula assisted three of Sandberg's four goals and the Dragons (14-4) prepped for next week's District 10 Class AA playoffs with a dominant win. Warren will play the winner of Monday's quarterfinal between Conneaut and General McLane on Wednesday. The location and time of the match have not been announced.
On Thursday, Sandberg was the story.
"They just couldn't shut him down," said Warren coach Tom Harrington. "By the end of the game, defenders were arguing over who had to guard him. It was a great performance."
According to Harrington, the passing on both sides was great from the start and both sides had early chances. With 19:30 left in the opening half, the Dragons finally broke the scoreless tie when Hachula found Sandberg.
"In addition to Matt, Phil played out of his mind tonight. Both offensively and defensively, it was probably the best game he has played for us all season."
The Trojans tied the match in the waning moments of the first half by taking advantage of a small Warren breakdown to make it 1-1.
The second half was all about the Dragons.
Just four minutes into the second half, Liam Boger assisted on Sandberg's second goal of the game and 28th of the season. One minute after that, Warren pushed the lead to 3-1 when Hachula assisted Sandberg for the second time.
The final goal of the night used the same combination and the Dragons cruised to the finish line for the 4-1 victory.
Warren won the match despite being outshot by the Trojans, 15-9.
"The passing was tremendous," said Harrington. "Tyler Mealy played a great defensive game and Clark Eason was outstanding in goal. He didn't make any mistakes and did exactly what we asked of him."
Warren's junior varsity team was defeated, 8-0.