KINGSTON ‚?? Coughlin‚??s boys soccer season had ended just 48 hours prior to Thursday‚??s Wyoming Valley Conference Senior All-Star Classic.
After the heart-breaking loss to Lewisburg in which the Crusaders dominated, no one would‚??ve had a problem if the Coughlin players didn‚??t want to participate in the showcase.
Not only did the four seniors from Coughlin play on Thursday, they made an impact.
Justin Okun recorded a hat trick, Pat Malone had two goals, keeper Josh Featherman kept his opponents from making easy shots and defender Josh Tarnalicki had several blocks to help the Orange Team ‚?? coached by Coughlin‚??s Rob Havard ‚?? to a 6-4 victory over the Green Team at Wyoming Valley West‚??s Spartan Stadium.
‚??It was a tough loss and nothing will fill that void about losing a tough game like that 1-0,‚?Ě said Okun, who was voted as an All-State player by the WVC coaches and is verbally committed to play at Division I Siena next year. ‚??But I just came out, wanted to play with the best players in the league and just play how I play and just put the ball in the net.‚?Ě
On a cold and windy night, the teams took a while to get going. The first goal wasn‚??t scored until 14:35 was left in the first half when Crestwood‚??s Alex Machalick scored off an assist from Dallas‚?? Danny Saba to give the Green Team a 1-0 lead.
Shortly after Machalick‚??s kick, the Orange got started. Berwick‚??s Richard Umana, who led all of the WVC in goals and points during the regular season, netted the equalizer with 9:20 remaining.
Just about two minutes later, Malone gave the Orange a lead they wouldn‚??t relinquish the lead the rest of the game. Okun, who was also named MVP of the game, netted his first goal with 1:45 left in the first half for a 3-1 advantage when the ball came in off a corner to Wyoming Seminary‚??s Henry Cornell, who dished it to the Coughlin standout.
After Meyers‚?? Mike Kendra trimmed the deficit to 3-2, Cornell fed Okun again to push the lead back to two.
The shot of the match came off the foot of Dallas‚?? Brian Stepniak, who is known more for his defensive play. He took a shot from about 35 yards away and lasered a bullet into the net to cut Orange‚??s lead to one goal again at 4-3.
Once again, Okun padded the lead to two, this time off a pass from Wyoming Valley West‚??s Brian Hromisin. And before the Green could strike again, Malone added his second goal for a 6-3 lead with 11:00 left and to secure the victory.
‚??Pat was working hard,‚?Ě Okun said. ‚??Everyone else was working hard. We were just having fun out there tonight.‚?Ě
Machalick hooked up Saba for the game‚??s final goal.
The game was showcased in front of about a dozen college coaches who were on hand looking to recruit top talent. Instead of the normal 40-minute halves played in high school, the match consisted of two 45-minute periods like the college game.
WVC Senior Boys All-Star Game
Orange 6, Green 4
First half: 1. GREEN, Alex Machalick, Crestwood (Danny Saba, Dallas) 14:35; 2. ORANGE, Richard Umana, Berwick 9:20; 3. ORANGE, Pat Malone, Coughlin 7:19; 4. ORANGE, Justin Okun, Coughlin (Henry Cornell, Wyoming Seminary) 1:45
Second half: 1. GREEN, Mike Kendra, Meyers 31:42; 2. ORANGE, Okun (Cornell) 23:36; 3. GREEN, Brian Stepniak, Dallas; 4. ORANGE, Okun (Brian Hromisin, Wyoming Valley West) 17:41; 5. ORANGE, Malone 11:00; 6. GREEN, Saba (Machalick) 2:07
Shots: Orange 24, Green 22; Saves: Orange 10 (Josh Featherman, Coughlin), Green 10 (Steven Rerick, Crestwood); Corners: Orange 4, Green 8.