Rivals finish in 0-0 draw
The game should have been over twice, or so it seemed. But two goals were disallowed, which prevented any scoring in another chapter of the Emmaus-Parkland boys soccer rivalry last Saturday night at Lehigh County Sports Complex.
The Green Hornets found the back of the net off of a corner kick late in the first half, but it was called offside. The Trojans ripped a shot that pierced the net but the final whistle blew just as the kick was made and did not count.
The atmosphere at the County fields was electric. As the soccer complex at Parkland High School is getting renovated, the Trojans will play night home games at the county complex. In typical fashion, the fans showed up in bunches and surrounded the field and it had the feeling of a postseason game.
“The atmosphere couldn’t have been better,” said head coach Patrick Birns. “We came together for a great cause, and the fans showed up in great number.
“It was a very well played game. The intensity was high, and it never got chippy. Hats off to both teams.”
There were chances for both teams to end the scoreless drought, but neither could break through. Emmaus goalkeeper Dylan Sosnow made two tremendous saves in each half of regulation. In the first, he dove across the goal to block a half-volley from Parkland’s Andrew Luchansky. After intermission, with the Green Hornets absorbing tremendous pressure, he battled off a close-range shot from Mark Stenske.
Senior defender Jake Stengel, who recently committed to play soccer at Old Dominion University, held the Trojans firm in the back side of their field.
“I think he’s the best defender in the league,” said Birns. “He might even be the best defender in the state. He’s just so confident on the ball. We can send numbers forward because we know we have Jake there.”
Emmaus’ Ryan Paradise hit the crossbar with a header off a corner in the second half, and Byron Derti later missed wide after an Emmaus turnover.
A tie is better than a loss, and even though the Trojans could not find the winner, they prevented a goal that would have beat them. It gives a younger team big-game experience and a crucial point against a Green Hornets team that has not lost in the conference.