Penn-Trafford boys soccer opens WPIAL playoffs with win over Bethel Park
The Penn-Trafford boys soccer team isn't sleeping on anyone.
A season after winning 14 games in the regular season but falling in the WPIAL quarterfinals, the Warriors entered the postseason with a new focus.
Penn-Trafford started its trek to a WPIAL title with a 5-0 shellacking of Bethel Park in the opening round of the Class AAAA playoffs Saturday.
“Most of these guys went through last season,” Penn-Trafford coach Rick Nese said. “They understand it is a different season and a different type of game. We talked at halftime about how every 40 minutes tells a different story in the playoffs.
“You can come out flat in the first half and take it to a team in the second. You can play well in a half and be on your heels in the second. Every half is 40-minute game.”
It did not take long for the Warriors to impose their will on the Black Hawks. Less than nine minutes into the first half, Trevor Momeyer sent a free kick in from 40 yards out. The Bethel Park goalkeeper misjudged the ball and it went over him into the goal.
Momeyer contributed to another goal eight minutes later. The senior sent a corner kick to the front of the net from the left and fellow senior Joe Salesi was there to send it in.
Less than a minute left before the break, Nick Tarabrella sent a shot in from 20 yards out to push the lead to 3-0.
“We were able to relax,” Nese said. “It was a really slick field. One missed kick of a ball can change the complexion of the game. So a multiple goal lead can allow players to relax and be comfortable with the ball and not lead to the mistakes.”
Momeyer was able to get behind the defense early in the second half and buried a shot into the back of the goal with 38:36 to play in the game.
The Warriors rounded out the scoring late in the game as Salesi scored off a second corner kicker from Momeyer.
“(Trevor) gave us a few really nice crosses,” Nese said. “He got some good balls into the box for our forwards and created some opportunities.”
Zach Werksman picked up the win in goal. Despite being in his first season with the squad, the senior has seen gradually more playing time and brings great athletic ability due to his skills from volleyball.
Senior Dylan Adamson came in and played the final 29 minutes. For Penn-Trafford, having the two seniors, along with sophomore Logan Kreutzberger, is a luxury for the team.
“Werksman can jump over the bar being a volleyball guy,” Nese said. “That is a huge advantage for us when we play someone good on free kicks. Dylan and Logan are more sound technically and tight. With the conditions (against Bethel Park), we thought they'd try to take advantage of free kicks.”
Penn-Trafford was set to face Pine-Richland in the quarterfinals on Wednesday. Results were unavailable at press time.