HELLERTOWN The Indians knew they would have to carry all of their momentum into this district playoff game against a very talented Saucon Valley squad.
Scoring in the first minutes of any sport usually sets the tone for the rest of the game.
Saucon Valley came out extremely aggressive and efficient ne route to a 4-2 win over Lehighton.
"We talked a lot about psychology, attitude, and focus this week," said Saucon Valley head coach Mel Moyer. "They were hungry in both halves and it showed."
The Panthers were awarded a corner just two minutes into the game. Joe Schuyler kicked a beautiful cross into the box and Sean Kowalski finished it with a header.
"We knew today would be a tough match up," said Lehighton head coach Dave Yob. "We had a little miscommunication on defense on their first goal."
Saucon Valley was aggressive throughout the entire first half as it outshot Lehighton by a two-to-one ratio.
Keeping the ball in Lehighton's half of the field paid off as Schuyler made an impressive move by creating space for himself to score the second goal of the half for the Panthers at the 24:50 mark.
The Indians had a few chances in the first half. However, Saucon Valley's defense might have been more impressive than its offense.
Saucon Valley goalkeeper Matt Smith made a great sliding save at the 20-minute mark in a crucial one-on-one situation against a Lehighton forward.
This was an extremely physical match. The game saw five cards, including a red card on a Saucon Valley player.
Saucon Valley went into halftime holding a 2-0 lead.
Zach Reichard once again found a way to strike again for the Panthers within the first two minutes of the second half.
Lehighton trailed, 3-0 at this point with 37 minutes left to play.
The Indians have been resilient all season and they proved to be a hard-fighting group once more.
Lehighton seemed to find all of its offense within a two-minute period in the second half where the Indians scored both of their goals.
Anthony Rossino got off a decent shot which Zach Christoff was able to clean up for the first Lehighton goal at the 27:15 mark.
A minute later Dan Baka headed the ball into the net off of a beautiful cross to pull the Indians within a goal at 3-2.
"I really need to give a ton of credit to my guys," Yob said.
They could have rolled over down by three goals but they battled back and made it very interesting."
Although the Indians played much better in the second half, they looked fatigued late in the match.
Cam Weeks of Saucon was able to put the game away as he scored the Panthers' fourth goal with just over six minutes left in the game.
The future of the Lehighton soccer program under Yob looks bright.
This is the furthest any Lehighton boy's soccer team has ever gone in the history of the program.
"The kids are disappointed," Yob said. "But 25 years from now when this team is put into the hall of fame for all of our accomplishments the kids will realize what a milestone it is."