Liberty boys beat Eastburg South
Leaving nothing to chance, number one seeded Liberty prepared well and came out kicking at number eight seeded East Stroudsburg South, playing to a 4-0 victory over the Cavaliers in an EPC soccer quarterfinal on Saturday at Liberty.
“I think it was something that they weren’t expecting,” said Liberty senior forward Caleb Mendoza. “I think it did mess up their rhythm a little bit, but I don’t think they expected us to come out swinging as fast as we did from the beginning, so I think that’s what gave us that leverage.”
By the 30th minute, the Hurricanes had taken a 2-0 lead on two penalty kicks by Chris Schray. The first penalty was against Palmer Posten when Isaiah Trinidad was tripped.
“I had a touch on my thigh and it put me in a good spot in a penalty area, so I was going to get a shot off but then his leg slipped my kicking leg and I didn’t get a shot,” said Trinidad. “Since it was early in the game, we really got in their heads after that and during that.”
Trinidad had another scoring opportunity in the 34th minute on a header but was off balance, and Sander Sahaydak came up with the Hurricanes’ third goal shortly before halftime.
Late in the second half, the Cavaliers attempted a penalty kick but Liberty Keeper Blake Koski made the save. Ryan Siegfried preserved the clean sheet for the Hurricanes.
“I think in the box it was getting a little rough because they were desperate and they wanted to get the ball out,” said Liberty defender Riley Burke. “They played hard which made it a little tough, but we found a way to get around them fairly easily, sometimes. We knew they like to play long and we knew they had two players they tried to target for their goals, so we decided we would be careful of them.”
Mendoza scored the fourth and final goal for the Hurricanes in the 62nd minute.
“I’d like to say thanks to Brandyn D’Amico because he was going to go for the ball, and I told him, ‘Leave it. I got it,’ and he left it, and it was the perfect moment to shoot the ball,” Mendoza said. “It was an awesome experience. You know, I’ve been playing this whole season and I hadn’t gotten my goal yet, and I was like, it’s gonna’ come at the right moment, and what a better moment than to score in the EPC’s.”
If Liberty wins the semifinal against Easton, scheduled to be played on Tuesday, past Press deadlines, they will move on to the final, scheduled for this Thursday at a time and place to be determined.