HS SOCCER: Abington Heights Handles North Pocono
MOSCOW — There wasn’t any room, very little time and no angle to shoot for Abington Heights’ Luke Abdalla.
Yet somehow, the Comets senior defied almost all the odds against him.
With just over 11 minutes left, Abdalla netted a shot from a nearly impossible angle to give Abington Heights a 2-1 win over North Pocono in Tuesday’s Lackawanna Soccer League Division I match.
“It had to be an 89-degree angle,” North Pocono coach Graig Arcurie said. “I think he was a foot away from the (goal) line. He hit it perfect, obviously. We had one or two guys there and the goalkeeper, and he got it right by them.”
Not to mention about 10 yards right of the net when he unleashed what amounted to a desperation try, snapping the tie and helping the Comets remain on the heels of division-leading Scranton Prep.
“That’s not an easy play to make by any means,” Abington Heights coach Frank Dyska said. “Honestly, that play and that moment is representative of his determination and his willpower as a player. That’s not an easy play by any stretch of the imagination.
“I wouldn’t say that’s a favorable shot, but given the circumstances, he’s just looking to make a play and he came up big in a tie game and kind of defied the odds. Awesome play, though.”
It started with the Comets counterattacking and Abdalla playing the ball wide to Cole Madera, who settled it at the top of the 18 and returned the ball wide to Abdalla.
“They caught us in transition,” Arcurie said. “They had numbers going forward and for them, the right guy had the ball.”
North Pocono had bottled up the Comets, save one miscue, for almost 70 minutes. Abdalla changed that.
“I was close to the goal line and didn’t really have a lot of room, and since the clock was running down I thought I’d try to put a shot on net,” Abdalla said. “That’s what I did and luckily it went in our favor.
“It was a tough angle. I was honestly surprised to see it go in.”
North Pocono nearly tied the game moments later when Tracy Kenyon floated a high ball to the far post that Jake Silva headed to the opposite post. But Jimmy Lefchak made a defensive save to maintain the lead.
“Once the ball gets to the back post to an offensive player, it’s really tough for the keeper to adjust and make a save,” Dyska said. “Cutting that off before someone gets a chance at it, I think it’s huge.
“Jimmy, especially on set pieces, has already shown so far this season that defensively, he’s great for cleaning it out and offensively, he’s a great threat. He just dominates in the air.”
Lefchak also set up the first goal with a free kick from 35 yards. The ball found its way to the far post, where Cole Madera tapped it home at 7:32.
“Right spot, right time and put it in,” Madera said. “It’s always important to get the first goal. Once you get the first one, you need to get another one real quick. We let them come back and the whole game changed from there to the end until Luke had that great finish.”
That’s because Corbin Lankford played a long ball ahead that Cayden Lougee won, then placed a low shot from 15 yards to tie the game at 17:51.
It stayed that way, despite the Comets dominating possession, until Abdalla’s goal.
Abington Heights (4-1) 1 1 — 2 North Pocono (2-2) 1 0 — 1
FIRST HALF: Cole Madera (AH) unassisted, 7:32; Cayden Lougee (NP) unassisted, 17:51. SECOND HALF: Luke Abdalla (AH) from Cole Madera, 68:41.
Shots-corners: AH 11-1, NP 2-1
Saves: Anthony Lionetti (AH) 1, Brooks Hanna (NP) 8
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Scranton 2, Delaware Valley 0
At Memorial Stadium, Sahmir Pradhan assisted on both goals in Scranton’s victory.
Delaware Valley (1-3) 0 0 — 0 Scranton (2-1) 1 1 — 2
FIRST HALF: Pranith Ali from Sahmir Pradhan, 36:57. SECOND HALF: Daniel Aguilar from Pradhan, 73:11
Shots-corners: DV 10-2, SCR 11-3.
Saves: Daniel Bradley (DV) 8; Nick Drouse (SCR) 9.
Scranton Prep 6, Valley View 1
At Loyola Field, Alec Buttner scored three goals to lead Scranton Prep.
Aaron Harrison scored for Valley View.
Valley View (0-3) 0 1 — 1 Scranton Prep (5-1) 2 4 — 6
FIRST HALF: Alec Buttner (SP) from Spencer Kiehl, 17:12; Antonio D’Apollonio (SP) from Blaize Whitehead, 36:49. SECOND HALF: Buttner (SP) from Edilson Lopes, 56:42; Buttner (SP) from Corbin White, 56:59; D’Apollonio (SP) from Chris Penetar, 76:23; Chris Curry (SP) from Cole Jordan, 78:18; Aaron Harrison (VV) unassisted, 79:53.
Shots-corners: VV 12-3, SP 15-8.
Saves: Nick Bianchi (VV) 8; Colin Legg (SP) 6.
Wallenpaupack 4, Honesdale 1
At Wallenpaupack, Kaspar Zaba-Poplawski had two goals and an assist to lead the Buckhorns.
Liam Carmody scored for Honesdale.
Honesdale (0-4) 1 0 — 1 Wallenpaupack (3-2) 1 3 — 4
FIRST HALF: Kaspar Zaba-Poplawski (WAL) from Anthony Raguso, 3:00; Liam Carmody (HON) (penalty kick), 37:00. SECOND HALF: Connor Barnes (WAL) from Zaba-Poplawski, 47:00; Zaba-Poplawski (WAL) from Andrew Waz, 54:00; Peter McDermott (WAL) unassisted, 69:00.
Shots-corners: HON 11-4, WAL 14-7.
Saves: Dayle Kulikowski (HON) 6; Derrick Vosburg (WAL) 10.
Elk Lake 6, West Scranton 0
At Elk Lake, Noah Johnson and Nate Preston each had two goals and an assist to lead the Warriors to a Division III win.
West Scranton (1-5) 0 0 — 0 Elk Lake (3-1) 3 3 — 6
FIRST HALF: Noah Johnson from Alex Bradish, 20:26; Nate Preston from Johnson, 21:55; Kevin Valvano from Preston, 36:11. SECOND HALF: Johnson from A. Bradish, 46:46; Valvano from Kyle Bradish, 61:07; Preston unassisted, 79:31.
Shots-corners: WS 3-0, EL 24-8.
Saves: Antonio Pugliese (WS) 13; Jake Kelly (EL) 1.
Riverside 7, Carbondale Area 3
At Carbondale, Bryce Collins had a goal and three assists to lead Riverside.
Mike Zazzera scored three goals for Carbondale Area.
Riverside (2-3) 2 5 — 7 Carbondale Area (0-6) 2 1 — 3
FIRST HALF: Mike Zazzera (CAR) from Jeff Katchmore, 9:00; Zazzera (CAR) from Katchmore, 11:00; Lorenzo Gomez (RIV) from Bryce Collins, 19:00; Gomez (RIV) from Collins, 26:00. SECOND HALF: Jason Benson (RIV) from Francisco Grande, 44:00; Benson (RIV) from Collins, 50:00; Bryce Reed (RIV) from Collins, 55:00; Zazzera (CAR) unassisted, 60:00; Collins (RIV) unassisted, 68:00; Grande (RIV) (penalty kick) 74:00.
Shots-corners: RIV 19-6, CAR 15-5.
Saves: Charlie Azarsky (RIV) 12; Joe Herbert (CAR) 12.
Western Wayne 6, Holy Cross 1
At Western Wayne, Cameron Johnson had two goals and an assist and Dahlton Frisbie scored twice to lead the Wildcats in a Division II-III crossover.
James Fay scored for Holy Cross.
Holy Cross (1-5) 0 1 — 1 Western Wayne (5-1) 3 3 — 6
FIRST HALF: Dahlton Frisbie (WW) unassisted, 7:10; Frisbie (WW) from Cameron Johnson, 7:28; Johnson (WW) from David Tucker, 32:23. SECOND HALF: Johnson (WW) from Jamie Ashby, 46:07; Ashby (WW) from Danny Peral, 50:20; Tucker (WW) unassisted, 68:08; James Fay (HC) unassisted, 77:23.
Shots-corners: HC 5-4, WW 33-7.
Saves: Tim Gilhooley (HC) 14; Gary Geinitz (WW) 3.