Dallas wins quarterfinal in shootout
Mountaineers put 49 shots on goal, but need overtime to advance to District 2 semifinals.


Chris Scharff knew he would have a challenge on his hands when Dallas hosted Nanticoke in a District 2 Class 2A quarterfinal game Friday night at Dallas High School.
But what the coach didn’t know was that his team would drop 49 shots into the box unsuccessfully en route to a 1-0 shootout win over the visiting Trojans.
“Nanticoke is a team that always plays hard,” said Scharff. “(Nanticoke Area coach Mark Matusek) makes them believe they can win each and every time they take the field.”
Dallas advanced to the District 2 Class 2A semifinals against Valley View, a 3-2 winner over Crestwood on Friday.
Nanticoke goalie John Albanese turned away all 49 shots the Mountaineers fired at him.
“(Albanese) was phenomenal,” said Scharff. “There were about four shots in the first half alone that definitely should have been in. But a win is a win, and we’ll take it.”
Dallas and Nanticoke ended regulation tied at 0-0, and moved through two overtime periods without a score.
Billy DeAngelo shot first for the Mountaineers, slotting the ball in the lower right corner. Dan Grabinski followed for Nanticoke, placing the ball in the same location to tie the shootout score,
David Luksh shot next for Dallas, finding the back of the net with a low, driving ball on the left side. Ryan Grabinski went low left for the Trojans to even the score, 2-2.
Kevin Pierce shot third for the Mountaineers, finding the middle of the net. Mack Martin followed up with a shot to the high, left corner to set the score at 3-3.
Mark Hummel went to the left corner, shooting fourth for Dallas. Jason Zmijewski found the high, right corner with Nanticoke’s fourth shot, evening the score at 4-4.
Baltimore shot fifth for the Mountaineers, driving the ball into the upper right corner.
Josh Olzinski took the fifth and final shot for the Trojans. Olzinski drilled a low shot into the lower right portion of the goal. Dallas goalie Peter Steve guessed right on the shot and met the ball before the goal line, deflecting it wide.
“I thought the shootout was going to end up going to the second five,” said Baltimore. “Their first four shooters all made their shots perfectly and we came in and made our shots.”
Dallas had ample chances in the first half to create scoring opportunities. With 22 minutes remaining, Luksh took a pass from Guy Carpenter on the 18-yard line. Luksh drilled the shot into the upper left portion of the goal only to have Albanese deflect it wide.
The scene was repeated three minutes later when midfielder Alex Baltimore fed a long pass to forward Pierce. Pierce struck a low ball into the corner, but Albanese again met the ball and deflected it.
“Their defense was playing well throughout the game,” said Baltimore. “We thought it was going to happen for us, but nothing was working the way we thought. When we came out in the second half, we were able to move the ball the way we wanted to.”
With 20 minutes left in regulation, Scharff made substitutions in order to try and spark some offense and relieve some of the pressure from the Dallas forwards.
“We switched from four defenders to three, trying to spark some offense. We also switched some players,” said Scharff.
Baltimore, normally a midfielder, moved to the center forward position, dropping Pierce back to the midfield.
“Their sweeper was bigger, stronger and faster. (Baltimore) is bigger, stronger and faster. So I figured we could take some pressure off some of the players with that change,” said Scharff.
Nanticoke was awarded a direct kick directly outside the Dallas 18 with 13 minutes left in the second half. Chris Moran took the shot, which was deflected by a Dallas player over the crossbar. The resulting corner kick was cleared.
At the nine-minute mark, Pierce broke away down the left side of the field but was met by Dan Olzinski in defense. Pierce fed Luksh near the 18-yard line, who drilled a shot into the upper left corner of the goal only to have the ball cut down one-handed by Albanese.
“I think we created enough shots and chances on offense; the ball just wouldn’t go in for us,” said Scharff. “Their team played extremely well on defense. I hope we got this out of our system though.”

Olzinski, Trojans exact revenge, deny GAR chance at division title
By Mike Garvey Staff Writer

The last time Nanticoke Area’s Dan Olzinski lined up in front of GAR goalkeeper RJ Suda, he missed a penalty kick in the Grenadier’s eventual victory. So what was he thinking yesterday in the rematch, when he again lined up in front of Suda? “The first one, I was expecting him to go one way and he went the other, and I made a last second decision,” Olzinski said. “This time I made up my mind I was going one way.”
With his mind went the ball, the Trojans’ final goal in a 4-2 victory. Olzinski’s goal came at 24:09, and the Trojans (13-3) made it stick for a win that will increase their chances at a top district playoff seed and denied the Grenadiers a shot at the Wyoming Valley Conference title.
GAR came into the game tied with Meyers for the Divison II lead with identical 14-1 records.
But after winning at Wyoming Area last night, Meyers stands at 15-1. The Grenadiers, however, have a slightly worse 14-2 mark and one baffled coach.
“Our kids played hard, but I don’t know,” GAR coach Jeff Carlo said. “You don’t know what to say. I’m in shock we lost 4-2, I really am.”
Carlo speculated that his team might have been looking ahead to a potential grudge match with Meyers, who handed GAR its only defeat of the season. After a Godson Tandoh goal at 37:01 in the first period, GAR looked headed in that direction, especially considering that the Trojans’ gameplan was to stop him up the middle — exactly the place he scored his goal. Inexplicably to Carlo, however, his team eased up on the clutch.
“We got a goal right off the bat and it just seemed like we played defense the rest of that half,” Carlo said.
That was a dangerous ingredient to put in the same pot with a fired-up Nanticoke squad. One could have strung a harp with the game’s plot lines: Olzinski’s redemption, the Trojans’ vengeance of an earlier loss, the seniors’ desire to win on senior night.
“We were all pumped up today at school, we had a pep rally,” Kris Moran, who scored the Trojan’s third goal at 24:41, said. “That’s what made us come out strong, was the senior night.”
Nanticoke also lost to Meyers Friday on a series of near-misses, including a shot that rolled across the entire crossbar. That luck almost continued on the Trojans’ first goal yesterday, a Ryan Grabinski shot that hit the left post and bounced out like a spinning top.
But by the time Suda dove on it at 19:13, the officials ruled it a goal.
“I was hoping that we’d be able to get back up after the Meyers game, and we did. They came ready to play,” Nanticoke coach Mark Matusek said.
Grabinski scored again at 9:27, but the 2-1 lead that stuck at halftime disappeared when Hadvance headed a ball in at 29:53 in the second period. But what might have fired up the Grenadiers turned out a first-period repeat.
“We came out, got a goal, [and] seemed like we played defense from that point on,” Carlo said. “We didn’t execute with what it took to win.”
The Trojans, on the other hand, did. Matusek wanted his team to control the midfield to prevent Tandoh from touching the ball too many times.
In allowing him and the rest of the Grenadiers just nine shots, they did. Nanticoke’s seniors came out wanting to polish off their day, and did so by scoring all four goals.
And then there’s Olzinski
who, like the rest of his teammates, stuck to his guns and came away a victor.
“I knew I wouldn’t make the same mistake twice,” Olzinski said.

10/23/2006 - Nanticoke Area High School Soccer Senior Day Program

Citizens Voice Article about GNA Soccer Brothers
Click the thumbnail to see and read larger version...Click back button on your browser to return.

The Morans - The Olzinskis

The Grabinskis - The Martins

Strong defense leads Trojans over Eagles
Return of injured Zmijewski helps Nanticoke to its fifth shutout of the season.
By drosengrant@leader.net

Defense has been Nanticoke Area’s strength this season.

Entering Tuesday’s Wyoming Valley Conference Division II game with Seton Catholic, the Trojans had four shutouts to its credit, while only allowing seven goals.
The Trojans held the Eagles to just three shots on goal in the first half en route to a dominating defensive performance to pick up a 4-0 win at Albert West Park.
The Nanticoke defense was led by Jason Zmijewski, who helped keep Seton out of Nanticoke territory. In his last game on Sept. 27, the sophomore was in a head-on-head collision with a GAR forward and received stitches to close a laceration on his forehead. The stitches were removed earlier in the week and he was glad to be playing on Tuesday.
“It feels good to be playing now,” the defender said. “I get little headaches but that’s it…. Dan Olzinski and Robert Bertoni help me out and we just stay back unless we need to attack and it worked out for us (Tuesday).”
While the Trojan defense has been unstoppable lately, the offense has struggled by only scoring one goal in its last three games. But time after time, Nanticoke (7-2) beat the Eagles to the ball. Kris Moran scored the game’s first two goals. The first one was only three minutes into the contest. The second one was scored with less than three minutes left in the first half off an assist from Keith Moran. Matt Kruczek scored a pair of second half goals. All four goals were scored inside the 18-yard line.
“I didn’t know what to expect because our offense only scored one goal in the last three games and we had to figure things out,” Nanticoke coach Mark Matusek said. “I was hoping to get Kris involved and when Matt scored, he just picked up balls by the net. You have to do that around the goal area.”
The Eagles (4-5) had a few opportunities but couldn’t capitalize. Midway through the first half, the team’s leading scorer, Matt Wisniewski (11 goals), headed a shot but missed the net inches to the left.
“We played very well in the first half and if we put in the chances that we did have, it would have been a closer game,” Seton coach Douglas Lazecki said. “But Nanticoke is a well-coached team. They really move the ball well and their guys in the middle on defense are tough and really shut our guys down.”
The Eagles still have a shot to make the District 2 Class A tournament. If they don’t, however, the team will only lose two seniors to graduation as the program seems to be headed in the right direction.

Trojans off to strong start


A year ago Nanticoke Area’s soccer team was sitting at the bottom of the soccer standings holding the rest of Division II up. The Trojans had a miserable season, going without a win, while posting 16 losses. They were the only winless team in the Wyoming Valley Conference.
The Trojans have had made quite a turnaround this year. Nanticoke is now at the top of the Division II standings with a 3-0 record. In three league games, the Trojans have outscored their opponents, 17-2, and they have a number of players to call upon to hit the back of the net.
There is still plenty of season remaining, but the Trojans should be well over the sting of losing day after day.

GNA rolls on in boys soccer

Ryan Grabinski scored his Wyoming Valley Conference Division II-leading sixth and seventh goals as Greater Nanticoke Area remained undefeated by knocking off Berwick 6-0 on Tuesday in boys soccer.

Kris Moran also scored a pair of goals and added an assist for the Trojans, who didn’t win a game in 2005 but have outscored their opponents 17-1 in three games this year.

Travis Rothrock made 18 saves for the Dawgs, while Nanticoke goalie John Albanese stopped six shots.

Trojan Boys Soccer Outlook
Nanticoke Area (2A)
Coach: Mark Matusek, 18th season
Home Field: High School or West Side Park (West Grand Street, Nanticoke)
2005 Record: 0-16-0

Key Players: John Albanese, Jr. GK; Zack Martin, Sr., MF; Danny Olzinski, Sr., D; Josh Olzinski, So., MF; Ryan Grabinski, Sr., D; Kris Moran, Sr., MF; Matt Kruczek, Sr., D; Robert Bertoni So., D; Jason Zmijewski, So., D; Mack Martin, So., MF; Joey Zwiebel, Fr., D; Joey Zannetti, So., D

Coach’s Comments: “If we make better decisions and get better ball positioning, we will be better. We have a lot of experience, and hopefully we can come together as a team.”