Indians advance with win over JT
MARY ELLEN KMETZ/Special to TIMES NEWS Lehighton's Dan Baka uses a header to pass the ball to a teammate during District 11 2A boys soccer action against Jim Thorpe.
Lehighton entered District 11 2A boys soccer play on Tuesday coming off a loss to Stroudsburg Saturday in the Mountain Valley Conference championship.
It was interesting to see how the Indians would respond coming off of the loss as they entertained Jim Thorpe in the opening round.
Over 30 minutes into the game, both teams were engaged in a scoreless tie, but the Indians eventually broke the ice and went on to a 5-1 victory.
Lehighton's Dan Baka capatalized on a penalty kick to give Lehighton a 1-0 lead at the 7:33 mark heading into halftime.
"I was surprised that he wanted to take the penalty kick," said Lehighton head soccer coach Dave Yob. "He must of had a lot of confidence today. Dan had a super game and we definitely needed from him."
The Olympians, on the other hand, were held shotless in the first half.
Jim Thorpe opened up the second half with a couple of free kick opportunities.
Steve Principe of Jim Thorpe was able to sink an impressive free kick at the 36-minute mark of the second half.
However, this would be Jim Thorpe's only goal.
"I think when you play someone whom you've had success against earlier in the season, you come out a bit too relaxed," Yob said.
Nobody was happy at halftime. At times we did a real nice job, but our kids had a difficult time controlling the ball when we had the wind at our backs."
Anthony Rossino struck back for the Indians as he scored one of his two second half goals at the 31:24 mark.
Rossino's goal was the first of four for Lehighton after the break.
Lehighton dominated time of possession the entire game. The difference in the second half was their precise passing.
The passing of Lehighton was especially impressive around the opposition's goal box.
The unselfish play of the Indians lead to them to creating well over 15 shots on goal during the contest.
Ben Cordova and Bacha added another goal a piece for Lehighton late in the second half.
"Our defense has been steady all season for the most part," the Lehighton coach said. "We had a few glitches here and there today, but I'm pleased with the way we played today."
Lehighton will advance to take on Saucon Valley on Thursday at 3pm on the Panthers home field.
Yob said, "It's going to be a tough match up, but that's what playoffs are about.
"We played them last year with basically the same team we have now, so we're familiar with them. They had a very good season in the Colonial League this season and we're looking forward to the opportunity."