HIGH SCHOOL BOYS SOCCER: Shamokin falls to Loyalsock
COAL TOWNSHIP - When Shamokin's young boys soccer team had the game's first corner kick Thursday against Loyalsock, a fan in the stands could be heard saying, "Wow, we got the first corner. That's a moral victory."
Not only that, but the Indians scored off that corner. Sam Deptula booted the ball toward goal and it bounced off a Loyalsock player into the net, giving the Indians the lead with just their second goal of the season.
The lead didn't last long, and Loyalsock eventually won, 4-1, but Shamokin head coach Brandon Hockenbroch is seeing positive things from his team.
"That was by far the best game we've played this season," Hockenbroch said. "Just in terms of hustle and getting to balls. We got worn down in the second half
(when Loyalsock scored three unanswered goals) but we're getting better there, too. Against Central, we were only down 1-0 at halftime and got beat 9-1."
When none of your starters are seniors, and nine of them are either freshmen (four) or sophomores (five), you're probably going to take some lickings, and most of what this season is about is improving skills and learning from the losses, Hockenbroch said.
"They know they're a young team," he said. "Little mistakes eat us up but that's going to happen."
Little mistakes such as allowing the Lancers a penalty kick four minutes after taking the lead. Freshman goalie Alek Washuta had little chance against Loyalsock's Matt Hibbs, who tied the game with his kick.
But Shamokin hung tough the rest of the half despite being outshot 9-1 and the game was knotted at halftime.
Loyalsock finally took the lead on a goal by Tristan Fisher 6:31 into the second half, and the Lancers scored an insurance goal 2:15 later by Michael Pastore.
Hibbs effectively put the game out of reach with his second goal with 13:20 to play.
Washuta made 15 saves for the Indians.
"He's filling some big shoes (graduated all-stater Jon Deitrick) and he's been solid all year," Hockenbroch said. "He's only a freshman. He'll get bigger and stronger."
Shamokin's next game is at Warrior Run on Tuesday.
Loyalsock 1 3 - 4
Shamokin (0-7) 1 0 - 1