EHS teams win in LVSSL playoffs
Both Emmaus boys soccer teams advanced to the playoffs of the Lehigh Valley Summer Soccer League playoffs.
Hornets Green went 9-0 and was in first place in Group A, while Hornets Gold was 6-2-1 and placed second in Group B.
With the two squads competing in the same time slot of the opening round, Cari coached the Gold team and assistant coaches Andy and Matt Squire were in charge of the Green team.
While both teams came out on the winning end of their first-round matchups, they took different routes to end up on top.
On field one, Hornets Green went down 1-0 early but scored three straight goals to take down Central Catholic 3-1. On field three, Hornets Gold was in a deadlock with Saucon Valley as neither team found the back of the net in regulation and had to proceed to penalty kicks. Emmaus defeated the Panthers 4-2 in the shootout to advance to the quarterfinal round.
“I’m happy all around with both of our team’s performances today,” said Cari, who split his team’s evenly this year instead of fielding a varsity and JV team in the summer league. “It’s the first year we split up the JV and varsity so we were interested to see how it would all work out. It’s been a successful summer.”
Emmaus and Saucon Valley, the defending District 11 Class 3A champions, played even soccer in the opening half, as both teams tallied five shots. Gavin Hoben made four saves in his only half of action.
In the second half, it was mainly the Hornets that put the pressure on offensively, outshooting the Panthers 6-1. But they were unable to break through and the game went to penalty kicks.
After Saucon Valley converted on its first chance, Thomas Hanvey tied it up with his conversion. Goalie Chris Buck stopped the next shot and another, then Jake Perry put the Green Hornets up 2-1. The Panthers tied at 2-2 before Alexzander Toto and Jacob Hain put the game to rest with two straight conversions.
“I thought we did a good job defensively,” Cari said. “They only had one shot there in the second half. We did a good job of bringing the pace in that half. We moved the ball well around the field and communication was better.
“I always hate penalty kicks and having games decided in that manner, but it turned out well for us today. I was confident in our kickers and they did a great job stepping up today.”
In the victory over the Vikings, Hornets Green saw goals from Hudson Peck, Brydon Crawford and Andrew Gaines.