Late goal lifts Lehighton
Lehighton's Nick Kern, right, pushes off Northern Lehigh's Ryan Perkowski during soccer action Saturday morning in Lehighton. The Indians won the non-league game, 4-3. Ron Gower/ TIMES NEWS
Northern Lehigh's soccer team didn't look like a team with a three-game scoring drought on Saturday.
The Bulldogs scored within the first three minutes of their game against Lehighton, and added another point 12 minutes later.
The Indians also proved hungry after having scored just one point per game in their last three outings. They eventually got their game together, started showing some offense half-way through the first half, and came from behind to score a 4-3 victory in a game in which both teams played as though a championship was on the line. The contest was played in Lehighton.
"The kids played hard," said Lehighton head coach Dave Yob, who is in his first year with the Indians but has 10 years of college soccer coaching experience. ""They've given me a good effort all year. The one thing I said in the beginning of the year was 'give me a good effort every game and I'll have nothing to complain.' It was a team effort today."
Northern Lehigh Coach John Sitaris said his players seemed to let up after an explosive start.
"In the beginning we pressed the ball," he said. "After leading 3-1, we laid back and allowed them to get back into the game."
Lehighton (3-6) won the contest on a pair of field goals each by Jason Addy and D J Rossino. Late in the game, Addy injured his leg and was taken to a local hospital for X-rays.
It was Rossino's free-for-all goal with 5:07 left to play that snapped a 3-3 tie and gave the Tribe the victory.
Rossino also started the scoring for the Indians, taking a pass from his brother Anthony and booting the ball into the corner of the net just three minutes after the Bulldogs had looked commanding with an early 2-0 lead.
Most of the scoring was in the first half. At the break, the score was tied at 3-3.
For about the first 20 minutes of the contest, Northern Lehigh (2-8) soundly outplayed Lehighton and controlled the ball in Indian territory.
Only 2 1/2 minutes into the game, sophomore Tyler Hoppes passed the ball to junior Jimmy Bilger, the team's leading scorer, and Bilger blasted it up the middle for a point.
Then, with 25:04 showing on the clock, Hoppes handled the ball himself and made a goal.
Lehighton finally started showing some offense itself. A pass was made in the exterior right corner to Anthony Rossino, who saw his brother virtually alone in front of the net. Anthony passed to D J, who easily smacked it into the corner of the goal.
At 17:43, Bilger struck again with a blazing straight shot about 20 feet away which gave Nolehi a 3-1 lead.
It took only three minutes for the Indians to answer, with D J Rossino hitting the ball to Addy who whacked it into the net.
Later, with 12:26 left in the first half, Anthony Rossino was knocked down, allowing Lehighton a penalty shot. Addy took the shot and kicked it hard past Molitoris, which made the score 3-3.
An out-of-bounds return by the Indians set up the final score. It was a solid kick into a group of players congregated at the far corner of the net. D J Rossino managed to handle it and scored.
Coach Sitaris said he feels Molitoris did a superb job for the squad. "I thought he distributed the ball well, especially in the first half."
He also had praise for Bilger and his scoring of two goals.