Article By: CHUCK HIXSON Special to the Press
Because of a quirk in the rules, only one team from District 11 earned a spot in the PIAA Class 4A soccer tournament this season. That made the District 11 championship all the more important and Parkland didn’t miss its chance to gain an invitation to states, downing Emmaus 2-0 to become the district champion.
Josh Kiser broke the ice with a goal 17 minutes into the game to give Parkland early momentum. That was be the only goal that Parkland would need, but the Trojans added a second with just over 20 minutes left in the game.
While Kiser’s goal, which was assisted by Justin Douglas, was the one that gave Parkland the lead and momentum, the second goal is somewhat of a mystery. Parkland was awarded a corner kick and Dylan Fasnacht played the ball in. Things got sort of hazy after that.
“I knew once I played it in, I was confident that my teammates would put it in and they did that, but we don’t know who,” said Fasnacht. “Nobody knows who scored it.”
The ball went into a pile of players from both teams and it wound up in the net. At first, the announcement of the goal awarded it to Fasnacht. A number of other players said they weren’t the one who put it in the net, but they also didn’t know who did.
“We still don’t know who scored the goal,” said coach Patrick Birns with a big smile. “All year, we talk about a coach’s goal and that’s just a hustle goal where a ball gets rebounded to somebody there and they poke it, and we haven’t had one, so to have one in district finals is huge.
“The boys don’t even know who scored it because they were all going at the ball, which is great to see.”
When the official account of the game was released, it turns out that the goal was scored by Garrett Ordway, so that’s who gets credit for the goal in a big spot.
To make the goal even more interesting, Emmaus goalie Sam Cho argued vociferously that the goal should be disallowed because he was run over by a Parkland player, which took him out of the play. The goal was allowed and Cho was given a yellow card for arguing the call.
Meanwhile, the win wasn’t just the fourth of the season for Parkland over Emmaus, the two-time defending district champs, it was the fourth straight shutout for Parkland over their biggest rival.
“The past two years in this game, we were absolutely heartbroken and we were coming up short,” said Trojan goal keeper Jake Varrato. “To beat them not once in a championship, but twice in a championship, beat them four times in a season and not give up a goal feels amazing.
“It was a whole team effort. We were really motivated tonight for our player, Kevin Geiger, who is in the hospital with a broken rib tonight. We were playing for him tonight.”
Parkland opened its quest for a state championship with a 3-1 win over Kennett Tuesday night at J. Birney Crum Stadium in Allentown. Kiser scored twice for Parkland and Owen Iacobelli added another goal to lead Parkland to the win. The Trojans (24-1) will play Conestoga, the top team from District 1, on Saturday. The site and the time of the game hadn’t been determined as of Press deadline.