JOHNSTOWN, Pennsylvania – After the North’s 3-1 victory in the boys’ game of the Santa Fund Soccer Classic, Chestnut Ridge senior Jack Moyer was asked if he appreciates his first-half goal or his assist on the insurance goal of his team.
In the spirit of the classic and the holiday season, Moyer decided that it was better to give than to receive.
“I liked the assist,” Moyer said. “The assistance was good. I don’t have a lot for my team. It was just a good cross and an easy finish.
Moyer was named the boys’ MVP, who saw the North win 16 seconds as Richland’s Trent Rozich hid a howler inside the far post about 25 yards after winning possession seconds before. .
Moyer followed with a goal in the 9th minute to give the North a 2-0 lead. The early advantage was nice for North coach Jason Hughes of Westmont Hilltop, who attributed his players’ IQ to football for their ability to gel quickly.
“Luckily they’re all seniors,” said Hughes, “so they’re used to the game. You give them a bit of strategy and they have the skills or knowledge to execute it.
“We don’t need several practices, nor practices for that matter. These kids know how to play the game, and with a little guidance, can come out and play a fantastic 3-1 win just like we just did.
Colby Barnhouse of the South (Bedford Area) cut the North’s lead in the 67th minute when he controlled the ball in the penalty area before tearing a lower left shot.
Barnhouse’s Bedford teammate Bowen Lamarche nearly tied the score two minutes later when his point blank shot was knocked back.
In the 77th minute, Moyer set the tally for the game when his corner kick found Westmont Hilltop’s Ian Buday, who directed the ball to make it 3-1.
The classic benefits the Democratic Tribune’s Father Christmas Fund, which provides Christmas gifts to families in the region in financial difficulty.
The girls’ game saw the South score three goals in the second half to pull away from the North and claim a 4-0 victory. Johnstown Christian’s Mary Hostetter won a brace – two goals – and MVP honors. Her first goal, on an assist from compatriot Blue Jay Kasmira Mack, gave the South a 1-0 lead in the 29th minute after spending most of her time trying to resolve Northern goalkeeper Sabrina Zimmerman, of Westmont Hilltop.
The South, who scored 17 shots on target, increased their lead in the 58th minute thanks to a count from Hostetter.
“It’s a blessing to play with other players who are very advanced in the game,” Hostetter said. “I’m just excited to be here.”
Goals from Sydney’s Bedford region tandem Taracatac (64th minute) and Katelyn Shaffer (67th) followed to establish the final, while Berlin Brothersvalley’s Hartley VanGilder scored blank in goal for the South.
With limited preparation time, setting up lines of communication in action largely contributed to the victory of the South.
“We worked in the hour leading up to the game on some passing combinations,” Southern coach Angie Berzonsky said.
“Then we did the passing combinations, forcing them to say each other’s names, so hopefully they would be able to communicate a little better on the pitch.
“It started to get along a little better. They started to remember each other. It wasn’t just about trying to haphazardly anticipate what someone was trying to do.
Shawn Curtis is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at 814-532-5085. Follow him on twitter @ ShawnCurtis430.
Shawn Curtis is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at (814) 532-5085. Follow him on twitter @ ShawnCurtis430.