EAST STROUDSBURG - Stroudsburg's Matt Poorman seemed to have Pleasant Valley's number this soccer season.
Poorman outscored the Bears by himself Thursday night and led his Mounties to a 3-2 overtime win over Pleasant Valley in the Mountain Valley Conference semifinals. Poorman scored the game-winner on a diving header right in front of the Pleasant Valley net with 7:10 remaining in the first OT. Fittingly, the assist came from his brother and teammate, Stephen Poorman.
"It is something we work on every day in practice," said Poorman, who scored all three of his goals in the second half. "It was a great service off the left side and I was just fortunate enough to put away the opportunity.
"We were a little sloppy early on, but it was the whole team's work ethic that really changed the tone of the game in the second half and we were able to capitalize late."
Poorman has now had a hand in every goal Stroudsburg has scored against Pleasant Valley this season. He scored the team's only goal back on Sept. 26 in a 3-1 loss and had two assists in the Mounties' 2-0 victory last Monday.
"We talked over and over about jamming the runs so there wasn't a clean shot coming through," said Pleasant Valley head coach Chris Pachuta. "And on at least two of the goals that (Poorman) scored no one jammed his run. We just have to step in front and make him go around us and attack the ball. We had some mental lapses and it came back to bite us."
About midway through the second half with the Mounties leading 2-1, Stroudsburg head coach James Ellison decided to put the team's leading scorer Cory Rodas in net. The move paid off tremendously as Rodas made three diving saves from that point on to preserve the win.
Four minutes after being put in the net, Rodas stopped Emiliano Furtado on a point-blank shot from right inside the box. Then, with just 30 seconds remaining in regulation, Rodas stoned Furtado again on the doorstep to keep the score tied.
Rodas would make another game-saving stop three-and-a-half minutes into overtime. He dove yet again to stop a Ricky Forte header off of a free kick.
"We talked before hand that if we went up a goal at any point in the game that I would go back in goal and hold it down," said Rodas. "I play goalie for my club team and for the state team, so I felt extremely comfortable back there. I knew once I went back there that we had a great shot at winning the game."
Pleasant Valley tied the game late in regulation. With just under four minutes to go and down a goal, the Bears set up for a free kick. Ryan Habick tapped the ball forward to a teammate who then tapped it back to a waiting Malik Krcic. Krcic fired a shot, but it was knocked down in the box. Fortunately for the Bears, Furtado was in the right place at the right time and put back the rebound for the tying goal.
"I think we responded well," said Pachuta. "I think we gained the momentum for the first time all game after (Furtado's) goal. We were putting the pressure on and I thought we were going to steal one there. (Rodas) made some really good saves on point-blank shots. There are probably three kids in the league that can make those saves and he is one of them."