Rossino sets new Indian scoring record
Bob Ford/TIMES NEWS Lehighton's Anthony Rossino controls the ball during a recent game. Rossino recently became the school's all-time leading goal scorer.
It was nearly two weeks ago, that Anthony Rossino became Lehighton's all-time leading scorer in career goals in boys' soccer.
With his second of two goals against Pocono Mountain East back on September 24th, the senior Indian was able to surpass the 32 career goals set by Ben Millen in 2009.
Although, Rossino celebrated the moment on the field by holding up three fingers on each hand (representing his record breaking 33rd goal), that served as the only moment the four-year varsity player stood proudly in the spotlight. When asked recently about the memorable night, Rossino immediately paid credit where credit was due.
He didn't want all the glory to himself. Instead, he wanted nothing more to share the milestone with all of those who had made it possible.
"Obviously, the big moment was breaking the school record," Rossino said. "But, most of all, I couldn't have done it without my teammates helping me throughout the years.
"So, to me, it just wasn't an accomplishment for myself, it was for the whole team."
That unselfish characteristic is no stranger to Lehighton head coach Dave Yob and his coaching staff, especially when it comes to not only Rossino, but the rest of his teammates.
"This group is very unselfish, sometimes too unselfish," Yob said. "The coaching staff is always asking for them to shoot when open, but they're always looking to make an additional pass."
Yob stressed that Rossino was "very driven and competitive," so that made it easy for him to admit that he wasn't surprised the talented three time league all star surpassed the school record.
However, it was the way that Rossino grew as a player that mattered most to Yob, who had the pleasure of teaching Rossino a bit more about the game. Yob then had the opportunity to watch him progress on and off the field over his last four years with the Indians' soccer program.
Rossino showed early on that he was on his way to breaking the career goals record. As a freshman he scored seven goals, eight as a sophomore, and then seven as a junior a year ago.
So far this season Rossino has scored 16 goals, currently putting him at 38 for his career.
"As a freshman, Anthony was able to be a contributor to the team scoring," said Yob, of Rossino who scored two goals in five games, a single goal in three games and started the season with a hat-trick. "We had a couple of seniors that year, so he didn't have to carry the load. During his sophomore year, he was the main focus of our offense and received more attention from opposing defenses. As a junior, he still tried to do too much early in the season, but began to trust the younger players and their abilities to share the scoring load.
"This year, he has worked on improving his game and the results speak for themselves. Plus, the younger players have all improved their game, so defenses can no longer target Anthony as the player to stop."
While over the years Rossino and the rest of his teammates grew as players, it was the way they grew as friends that is most important to Rossino.
"It's just great knowing how much we have improved from my freshman year, when we were getting killed by teams, to now where we are actually competing with everyone," stressed Rossino. "Everyone's just working together at practice, we worked hard all summer, and then carrying that over to the games is just a great thing to see. It's just a great feeling to be playing so well, knowing how hard things used to be for our program."
But, the best feeling Rossino admitted was when he used one of his goals to help the Indians post a win over East Stroudsburg South to secure the program's first appearance in the District 11 Class AA playoffs.
Also, Rossino may get another wish off his list as well, according to Yob, "If South loses one of its remaining two games, then we'd be in the league playoffs. If they win both, then we're out. They played Stroudsburg tonight and North on Thursday. It's a waiting game."
"Leagues was one of our goals this year and districts," Rossino said. "Hopefully, we can qualify for the MVC playoffs. That's the thing on my mind right now. It would be pretty nice. It would be a great feeling."
LADY TIGERS GO STREAKIN' - Led by Haley Yost and Carly Pierce, the Northwestern girls cross country team completed another undefeated regular season on Tuesday. The Lady Tigers earned three wins in their final meet at Southern Lehigh to post a 26-0 record and extend their winning streak to 78 straight races, a streak dating back to the beginning of the 2011 season. The NW girls also went 26-0 in 2011 and 26-0 in 2012.
LEHIGHTON MAKES HISTORY - With a 2-1 Mountain Valley Conference victory over East Stroudsburg South last Wednesday, the Lehighton boys soccer team won its ninth game of the season and qualified for the District 11 Class AA Tournament for the first time in school history. The program began in 1999, marking the first time in 15 years that the Indians have advanced to the District playoffs. The nine wins also set an all-time record for most wins in a single season by the team, eclipsing the previous high of eight wins.
NORTHWESTERN DOUBLES UP - The Northwestern boys and girls soccer teams pulled off a rare feat last week, with multiple individual hat tricks occurring in the same games. On Tuesday, Jonathan Haaf and Brandon Ettl both scored three goals apiece in leading the Tigers to 10-0 Colonial League victory over Catasauqua. Just 48 hours later (on Thursday), the Lady Tigers posted a 10-0 shutout over Palmerton with Sabrina Mertz and Sarah Segan both accounting for three goals apiece. However, Ettl wasn't just satisfied with one "hat trick" for the week. Following his three-goal effort against Catasauqua, he added another three goals in Thursday's 9-1 victory over Palmerton.
PRINCIPE PRODUCES - Steven Principe had quite the week for the Jim Thorpe boys soccer team with 10 goals in the span of 24 hours. On Wednesday, the Jim Thorpe senior scored all four of his team's goals in a 4-4 tie against Pine Grove. On the very next day, the Olympians posted a 6-0 victory over North Schuylkill with Principe once again accounting for all six of Jim Thorpe's goals. The six goals tied Palmerton's Brianna Doherty for most goals in a game for TIMES NEWS area soccer teams, as the Lady Bomber tallied six scores in a 9-0 victory over Catasauqua earlier in the season.
RUSSO RULES - Melissa Russo etched her name into the Pleasant Valley field hockey record books on Wednesday in an 11-0 Mountain Valley Conference victory over Pocono Mountain West. Russo's third goal of the game was the 50th of her high school career. The Pleasant Valley senior also had three assists in the game, which broke the Bears single-season assist record.
PV TENNIS TIDBITS - Last Thursday, Pleasant Valley's Madison Olexson and Emily Thek both advanced to the second round of District 11 Class AAA Singles Tennis Tournament, marking the first time in school history that Pleasant Valley had multiple girls make it out of the first round. It was the first time since 2008 (Ali Yozwiak) that any Lady Bear made it out of the first round of the District Tournament. Olexson defeated East Stroudsburg North's Stephanie Lima 6-2, 6-3, while Thek knocked off Bangor's Allison DeSario 4-6, 6-3, 10-6. In addition, Thek set the school record for most singles victories in a season with 14. As a team, Pleasant Valley broke the school record for most wins in a season with 12, while becoming the first PV team to win a Mountain Valley Conference championship and qualify for Team Districts.
HAT TRICK HONOR ROLL - Since last Tuesday, there have been 12 "hat tricks" (individually scoring three or more goals in a game) recorded by TIMES NEWS area players. In boys soccer, Northwestern's Brandon Ettl (3 goals, 3 goals) and Jim Thorpe's Steven Principe (4 goals, 6 goals) accomplished the feat twice, while Northwestern's Jonathan Haaf (3 goals) and Pleasant Valley's Connor Phillips (3 goals) did it once each. In girls soccer, Palmerton's Monica Wood scored four goals in a game, Northwestern's Sabrina Mertz and Sarah Segan scored three goals apiece, and Pleasant Valley's Ema Sabovic also had a three-goal performance in the past week. In field hockey, Pleasant Valley's Melissa Russo and Lehighton's Brooke Blasiak both tallied individual hat tricks.
CROSSING THE (FINISH) LINE - On Saturday, Jim Thorpe cross country standout Jonathan Condly captured the championship of the Northampton Invitational with a time of 16:42, which also helped propel the Olympians to the team title. Winning cross country Invitationals is nothing new to Condly, as the Jim Thorpe junior has now won four Invites on the year. In addition to the Northampton Invitational, Condly also captured the Schuylkill Haven Canes Invitational, the Pine Grove Cardinal Classic, and the Chris and Kevin Truskey Memorial Run in Tamaqua.
PUNCHING PLAYOFF TICKETS - As the regular season winds to a close for many TIMES NEWS fall sports teams, league and district playoffs are right around the corner. As of Tuesday, 18 TIMES NEWS teams have punched their tickets into the District 11 playoffs. In field hockey, Pleasant Valley (12-4), Northern Lehigh (12-5) and Lehighton (9-8) are in. In boys golf, Northwestern (12-2) qualified. In girls tennis, Pleasant Valley (12-5), Jim Thorpe (7-9) and Tamaqua (7-10) all advanced. In volleyball, six of the eight local teams are District-bound Marian (14-2), Pleasant Valley (13-2), Lehighton (10-5), Panther Valley (9-4), Jim Thorpe (9-8) and Northwestern (8-8). In girls soccer, Pleasant Valley (15-1) and Northwestern (14-1-1) are both in. In boys soccer, Pleasant Valley (17-0), Northwestern (13-1-2) and Lehighton (9-7-1) are heading to Districts. At 17-0, the Pleasant Valley boys soccer team remains the only undefeated team in the TN area and will look to cap off a perfect season when it travels to Stroudsburg (14-2) on Thursday in its regular season finale.
TIGERS TO 'PLAY4THECURE' - On Thursday, Northwestern's field hockey team will host Catasauqua in a Colonial League contest. The Tigers have joined hands with the National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR) and is participating in the "Play4theCure" campaign. Fundraisers will be held during both the varsity and JV contests with proceeds going to NFCR.
Northwestern players will be wearing pink jerseys in support of this cause.
Notes compiled by Jason Boris