For the Lehighton boys' soccer team, it was probably a tough task to get motivated for their second facing against Pocono Mountain East.
The first time that the two squads played each other, the Cardinals scored nine goal by halftime. That kind of defeat can do damage to the psyche of any team.
Last night, the two faced off again and the game went in favor of the Cardinals again by a 4-1score.
"The last time we played them, we were losing 9-0 at halftime," LHS head coach Dave Yob mentioned. "Today, I think we showed up with much better play against them."
This proved to be true, and in fact, if it wasn't for a 2-0 advantage that the Cardinals built at halftime, the game would have been much closer. The second half saw the Indians battle pretty evenly, only to have the Cardinals get one more goal than they did.
"I think we've definitely improved since the last time we played them," Yob stated. "Pocono Mountain East is one of the best team's in the league, so we showed we can do good things when we show up to play."
When it comes to building the early lead, Pocono Mountain East head coach Robert Black sees it as crucial to do in every game they play. "Getting the early lead is always big," he stated. "What happens then, is that they gain confidence and then they can build on that from that point on."
With the win, the Cardinals improved to 5-1-1 overall and 4-1-1 in the MVC. They took that important early lead off the feet of Martin Dieppa and teammate Andrew Ficco, as both notched first half scores.
However, the Indians refused to roll over, as they battled back and didn't allow anything easy for the favorites.
"When we have a healthy lineup, we field two seniors, two juniors, four sophomores and three freshmen," Yob admits. "At times, it's a little frustrating at the youthful mistakes that are made. But the effort is pleasing when it's there."
In the second half, Michael Marin scored on a penalty kick at the 24:35 mark. However, that didn't stop the Tribe.
Anthony Rossino outmaneuvered a couple of defenders and pounded a shot past PME goalie, Vincent Clemson, that cut the lead to 3-1 with time running down.
Then, with 1:43 remaining on the game clock, Aron Bohorguez scored for the final score of the game, unassisted.
"Lehighton works very hard and any team that does that is going to be tough to beat," Black mentioned afterwards. "Last time we played them, we had a lot of success early on, and tonight, it proved to be big again, as we got that early lead."
Black's team showed their dominance of the game by controlling the tempo of the game, maintaining possession of the ball and communicating well amongst their own teammates in the win.
"Possession is so big, even if you have a lead," Black said. "If you possess it, then the other team doesn't and if you keep them defending them, you keep them sweating and we wear down a lot of opponents that way."
Yesterday proved to be no different, as they outshot the Tribe, 17-10 and had six corner kicks to Lehighton's one.