No. 14 Hazleton nets five in win over USCAA opponent Williamson

Kyle Venditti dribbles past mid-field.
Kyle Venditti dribbles past mid-field.

Media, Pa. - Junior Kyle Venditti (Berwick, Pa.) gave Williamson College (3-4) all they could handle on Tuesday night in the suburbs of Philadelphia. The forward had his hands in all five of the Nittany Lions' (7-3, 5-2 PSUAC) scores in the contest, driving his team to a 5-1 victory over the United States Collegiate Athletic Association opponent.

Venditti's fine day began with an outstanding long throw-in to sophomore teammate Joseph Torres who beat the Williamson keeper with a fine header to put Hazleton up 1-0 eight minutes into the contest. 31 minutes into the first half, sophomore Gabriel Opoku-Akoto (East Stroudsburg, Pa.) dribbled past the Williamson defense when he was fouled in the penalty box. Venditti got the nod for the ensuing penalty kick tacked on the team's second goal of the evening. In the closing minutes of the first half, sophomore Ben Pasukinis (Benton, Pa.) made a diagonal run through the Mechanic defenders, and broke towards the keeper. The netminder broke up the Pasukinis run but not before the forward found Venditti streaking towards the goal, who took advantage of the open net to put the Lions up 3-0 at halftime. 

Sophomore Steven Prinicpe (Jim Thorpe, Pa.) got in on the action in the second half netting two goals from Venditti. In the early stages of the second period, Venditti tossed his second perfect throw to box. This time finding the foot of Principe who promptly drove the ball past the keeper on the left side of the net, adding to the Lion's cushion to make it a 4-0 game. The duo continued their pressure on the Mechanic defense midway through the final half, as Venditti navigated past defenders at the mid-field line playing the ball to Principe on his left. Principe received the pass at the top of the 18 and tacked on one final insurance goal for Hazleton, targeting left post for his second score on the evening. Williamson's Jesse Martinez drilled a 30 yard shot for a score in the waning minutes of action to get the Mechanics on the board, but the game was well in hand for the Lions who ran down the clock to finish with a 5-1 win.

Venditti's two goal, three assist performance gives him ten scores and 12 assists on the season to lead Hazleton in both offensive categories, while Principe trails the former USCAA All-American by two scores with eight total goals. In 80 minutes in the net, sophomore keeper Jimmy Fisher (Glen Allen, Va.)was perfect on the night with six saves.

Next up: The Nittany Lions rest up before a pair of games this weekend. Saturday the team travels west for a Penn State University Athletic Conference showdown with Greater Allegheny, then the squad returns home for a 1:00 p.m. non-conference match with Berkeley College of NJ at High Acres.