Xavier Correa's goal just four minutes short of regulation proved to be the game-winning tally for the Colonial League-MVC all-stars during Sunday's 29th annual Lions All-Star Classic at Nazareth High School. Correa, an East Stroudsburg North forward, slipped past the Lehigh Valley Conference's backline late and found himself as the hero after he tucked away a near post goal to give the Colonial-MVC all-stars their second consecutive win in the series.
"He was really a super sub," said CL-MVC head coach Mel Moyer, who also is the boss of Saucon Valley's program. "We felt that the LVC was getting tired in the back and Xavier gave us some fresh legs up top.He did the rest."
Correa used his speed to outrun the single defender that marked him up 30 yards from goal to pace himself past the defense to go one-on-one with the keeper for the decisive score.
It was a shining moment for the North player to capitalize on an opportunity to knock off the supposed 'big boys' of the LVC.
"They [LVC] were playing flat the entire game and I was pretty sure that I was going to be able to get that lead run," said Correa about the game-winning goal. "It's a big confidence booster beating these guys, because we all know how people look at our leagues compared to the LVC. It feels good to end high school with this win."
The LVC team appeared to have tied the game in the final seconds of the contest, when a free kick from just outside the box by Central Catholic's Javier Acverado hit the corssbar. The rebound from Parkland's Ryan Wetherhold, who tied the game at 2 with a low strike inside the box with 12 minutes left, went off the bar as well in a final flurry. Wetherhold's header actually came off the football crossbar above the goal, which then ricocheted off a CL-MVC defender and into the net.
The goal was waved off because of the ball hitting the football post.
"I thought we had the goal at the end," said LVC head coach John Cari," but as we told the kids before, this was an all-star game and I wanted them to have fun. Of course, we'd like to win, but in the grand scheme of things it wasn't a big deal."
Palmerton's Zach Huber and Bangor's Seth Ruggiero earned MVP honors for the contest.
On the girls side, the LVC team took care of their respective counterparts by a 5-2 advantage earlier in the day.
Parkland's Tara Huber scored two goal en route to grabbing offensive MVP honors, along with defensive MVP Brianne Henry of Nazareth.