Parkland Press

Monday, December 18, 2017
PRESS PHOTO BY DON HERBParkland’s Matheus Muller and an Emmaus player battle for a ball during the teams’ first meeting of the season. Copyright - Don Herb 2017_ PRESS PHOTO BY DON HERBParkland’s Matheus Muller and an Emmaus player battle for a ball during the teams’ first meeting of the season. Copyright - Don Herb 2017_

Boys soccer shuts down Hornets

Thursday, October 5, 2017 by CHUCK HIXSON Special to the Press in Sports

The Parkland boys soccer team played perhaps its best game of the season against rival Emmaus, beating the Hornets 3-0 to take both regular season games against the division foe.

As it turned out, the game went much like the first meeting between the two teams, with Parkland getting an early goal to make things tough on Emmaus. The Parkland defense was so stifling that it didn’t allow a shot on goal in the game.

“Now that I’m thinking about it, I don’t think that they did,” said coach Patrick Birns. “Emmaus puts you under a lot of pressure and we knew that they were going to play some long ball, so we played some different guys in the back that were really good in the air and that cut them down in their attacks.”

Parkland (11-0 EPC, 12-1 overall) loaded the box early on in the game, forcing Emmaus (9-2-1, 10-3-1) to try to adjust, but the Hornets never found a way to combat the plan.

“We were sharp today,” said Birns. “Our passes were sharp. Our movement on the ball was good. There were times there in the first half when we were just all over them. In the second half, we didn’t have as many opportunities on goal, but I don’t feel like the ball even crossed midfield.

“We looked good and we looked deep. I think I played 18 or 20 guys tonight.”

Like in the first meeting of the two teams, Parkland scored just about six minutes into the game when Adam Weaver found the back of the net. Justin Douglas made it 2-0 on a goal less than 10 minutes later.

From there, Parkland seemed to completely take over the game, leaving little opportunity for Emmaus to get back into it.

Getting the first goal was a key for Parkland and the second was somewhat of a back breaker as Emmaus started to feel defeated. Birns thought that the early goals played a big part in giving Parkland the edge in the game.

“It builds confidence in yourself and I think it’s demoralizing to the other team,” he said. “You give up an early goal and you feel like ‘now we have to fight back,’ and that’s tough for teams to do.”

Hornets coach John Cari admitted that the early goals were tough to handle.

“When they got the second one, it really took a lot of energy out of us,” said Cari. “I thought we cleaned up a little bit in the second half. We weren’t fantastic, but we cleaned up. They found another really nice goal to make a difference.”

The third goal came from Andrew Luchansky with just 1:21 left in the second half, putting an exclamation mark on the game.

Parkland holds the lead in the Skyline Division of the EPC going into the final week of the season. Emmaus has a slight lead over Central Catholic as teams jockey for spots in the EPC playoffs.

Parkland also leads the Class 4A rankings for District 11 play with Emmaus and Liberty chasing.

The Trojans have games against Central Catholic (9-3, 10-3), Nazareth (2-7-2, 3-8-2), Dieruff (1-9-0, 1-10-1) and Northampton (3-8-1, 4-8-1), with all but the Central Catholic game at home. The game against Northampton on Tuesday will also be senior night.