Buzzer-beating goal highlights strong start for Deer Lakes men’s soccer


Tuesday, September 20, 2022 | 11:28

For a high school athlete who plays both football and basketball, the first buzzer-beater usually comes on the hardwood.

For Nate Litrun, however, his first came on the court.

Litrun scored in the closing seconds of double overtime to power Deer Lakes to a 1-0 win over Shady Side Academy on September 6.

It was his first college goal, and it helped the Lancers defeat one of their bitter road rivals.

Litrun is a central defender so his role is to help prevent goals but with a corner he pushed forward with the rest of his teammates and as he said it was “in the right place at the good time”.

“Scoring my first goal against this team is pretty crazy,” Litrun said. “These extra points really help us. It’s a huge building block, and we’re going to continue to progress from there.

Litrun thanked his teammates for putting him in a scoring position.

Ruger Beer played a short ball into the corner that created a cross, which was hit by the Shady Side keeper. The ball came to Litrun and he kicked it into the open net with less than five seconds left.

“I asked the guys the next day in practice, because I don’t think they really knew how much time was left on the clock,” Deer Lakes coach Aaron Smith said. “There were 30 seconds left and I actually picked up my jacket and started getting ready to leave, because I thought it was going to be a draw.”

It was the second time in two weeks the Lancers had won in double overtime. They fell behind Knoch early on before rallying to secure a 4-3 win. Through Sept. 11, the Lancers were 6-1 overall and 4-0 in the 2-2A division.

“We keep squeezing it,” Smith said. “It’s good to be in the lead of course. We love getting those three points.

The Lancers have an experienced core with Litrun, Beer, Ryan Hanes, Mason Metzler and Nick Braun, among others. They also saw many different players find the back of the net, including Beer, Collin Rodgers, Hanes, Payton Kushon, Ethan Alberta and Wesley Boyle.

They were part of the first boys’ soccer team to win a WPIAL title in school history in 2020 and have the makings of a squad that could make another deep run.

“They’ve been battle tested,” Smith said. “Two years ago when they first won the WPIAL Championship and made the National Finals, they were sophomores and now they’re seniors. They can make some adjustments on the fly in the middle of the game. This experience benefits us. We try not to be too shaken up.

“It starts with Nick Braun, our goalkeeper. He’s been a calming force and works well with the back four. Our centre-backs are calm as cucumbers. We try to get the ball up, get the numbers going and score goals.

Jerin Steele is a freelance writer

Tags: Deer lakes

Leave a Reply