No. 1 Hazleton nets five en route to victory over New Kensington

Bernardo Becerra dribbles up-field.
Bernardo Becerra dribbles up-field.

Hazleton, Pa. - It took 43 minutes for the first place Nittany Lions to score on offense, but once the attack got started, Hazleton was able to work the ball around the field and score at will. The Lions netted four goals in the final 47 minutes of play to surge past Penn State New Kensington by a score of 5-1. Today's victory gives the Nittany Lions a 6-2 overall record and a 5-1 mark in the Penn State University Athletic Conference, good for a two game lead over the nearest competition.

Hazleton took an early lead in the match, but it came off an own goal from New Kensington as pressure at the net led to a bobble by the opponents keeper and a 1-0 advantage for the Lions. New Kensington answered shortly after as Cole Wilson beat Hazleton defenders and slipped a shot past Sophomore keeper Jimmy Fisher (Glen Allen, Va.) to knot the score at 1-1. With time running out in the first half, sophomore forward Steven Principe (Jim Thorpe, Pa.) found Ben Pasukinis (Benton, Pa.) in a crowd, who drove in the go ahead score just before the horn.

The offense picked up at the start of half number two with Freshman defender Tyler Wyllie (Benton, Pa.) advancing from his usual role in the backfield to an attack position. Wyllie received the ball from Junior Kyle Venditti (Berwick, Pa.) and swiftly found the back of the net to extend the lead to 3-1. Ten minutes later, Venditti went back to work, this time attacking on his own. The junior forward dribbled in from the left hash, hooking a powerful shot to the upper right corner of the goal for his eighth score of the season, giving Hazleton a 4-1 cushion over New Kensington. With 18 minutes remaining, Wyllie again found himself advancing the ball. The freshman defender dribbled past mid-field, beating several opposing defenders, driving a low bullet past the keeper and sealing the victory with goal to extend the margin to 5-1.

Next up: The Nittany Lions head into a week off from game action following today's win. Hazleton will take the field next against Penn State Brandywine when they travel to Media, Pa. to take face the defending PSUAC Champions on Saturday October 3, at 2:00 p.m.