Mont Alto, Pa. - Seven different Nittany Lions found the back of the net in Saturday's 8-0 road victory over Penn State Mont Alto. The Lion's ball control effort helped freshman keeper Terrance Jankouskas (Sugarloaf, Pa.) keep a clean sheet, as he was challenged just twice on Saturday to earn the win in net. Hazleton passed with precision all afternoon, methodically building a lead throughout the first half, leaving little doubt of the eventual outcome. With a 6-0 advantage at the break, Hazleton tacked on a pair of scores and defended the net to earn their fifth shut-out of the year. Hazleton's performance caps the regular season with a win and secures the Nittany Lions the three seed in the upcoming Penn State University Athletic Conference playoffs.
Freshman Moussa Diouf (Carteret, Nj.) got the Lions on the board early with a one-touch goal to the bottom right corner off a midfield pass from sophomore Ben Pasukinis (Benton, Pa.). Diouf's goal in the tenth minute opened the flood gates as the freshman's foot caught fire, supplying the Lions with some nifty passing that lead to Hazleton's next two scores. In the 15th minute, Diouf found senior Kyle Venditti (Berwick, Pa.) for a score off the left post, then four minutes later Diouf drove the ball to the left side of the goal, playing the ball back to the junior Patrick Holman (Bloomsburg, Pa.) who fired a goal to the right corner to give Hazleton a quick 3-0 lead.
Next it was Pasukinis's turn as the sophomore tacked on the next two scores for the Lions. The forward tucked in his first goal in the 23rd minute off a fine headed pass from junior Steven Principe (Jim Thorpe, Pa.), then again ten minutes later with an unassisted score from the left side of the 18. With Mont Alto on their heels, Sophomore Tyler Wyllie (Benton, Pa.) capped the half with an unassisted score of his own, vaulting Hazleton to a 6-0 cushion at the break.
The Lions would tack on two scores in the second half as they completed their dominant performance in the regular season finale. Steve Principe added his fourth score of the season in the 58th minute off a pass to the left side of the box from Tyler Wyllie, then as time expired, freshman Ethan Schatz (Pitman, Pa.) would finish out the scoring with his first tally of the year, benefitting from a pass from sophomore Austin Yaletchko (Nottingham, Pa.).
Hazleton's win on Saturday secures the three seed for the Lions in the PSUAC post-season for the second consecutive year. The Lions will get a week off before taking the pitch at home against the still to be determined sixth seed. Stay tuned to psuhazletonsports.com for announcements regarding the Lions home playoff game next Saturday, October 29th.