Indians stun previously unbeaten PV
Pleasant Valley was victorious over Lehighton both times they matched up in the regular season. The Bears actually were victorious against everyone they played during an unbeaten regular season.
But when the Bears and Indians met Tuesday in the Mountain Valley Conference playoffs, fourth-seeded Lehighton stunned top-seeded PV, 1-0.
Eighty minutes of regulation time was not enough to decide a winner. Another half hour of overtime went by and neither side was able to net the winning goal.
Despite a combined 20+ shots on goal between the two squads, nobody could score in regulation or overtime.
Six penalty kicks later, Lehighton (10-7-1 overall) finally edged the heavily favorited Bears.
"We have a couple of kids banged up, we're not as deep as Pleasant Valley is. The kids play with a ton of heart," said Lehighton head soccer coach Dave Yob.
Pleasant Valley outshot Lehighton considerably. However, the Indians' defense was able to hold late in the game and overtime despite the Pleasant Valley pressure.
Three of the Bears' shots on goal missed the net by just inches.
The biggest opportunity to win the game before penalty kicks came with 1:20 left in overtime.
Lehighton's goalkeeper Tyler Dietz committed a handball right outside of his own goal box.
A Pleasant Valley forward dropped the ball, and booted it right back into Dietz as he made one of his 14 saves excluding PKs.
That save sent the match into penalty kicks.
Through the first five penalty kicks, each team was able to convert four of them.
After the first five, it became "sudden death."
Lehighton's Cole Christman took the sixth penalty kick and was able to sneak it past the Pleasant Valley keeper.
Brandon Percy was up to kick for the Bears. Percy appeared to strike a beautiful shot, but Dietz dove to his left and was able to deflect Percy's shot and finally decide a winner in this contest.
"This was the biggest game of my career. My only strategy in penalty kicks was just to dive for the ball and use my instincts, sad Dietz. "We definitely played a very good game today and hopefully we can carry our momentum into Saturday's game."
Dietz, a freshman, had the game of his young career.
"He's come a long way since the beginning of the season," said Yob about his young goalie. "He's working hard. He guessed right on every penalty kick."
With the win tonight, the Lehighton boy's soccer program set a school record for wins in a season.
"This was the first time we were involved in the playoffs," said Yob. "If we happened to lose this game, I was treating it as a dress rehearsal for districts next week. All of this is new for us
"I feel so great for these kids, they've worked so hard all season long."
Lehighton will face off against Stroudsburg on Saturday in the Mountain Valley Conference finals