CITIZENS VOICE SOCCER ALL-STARS
- 2 Scranton Prep - 3
Trojans - 1 Lake Lehman - 1 (Tie)
Trojans - 1 Meyers - 2
Trojans - 2 Pittston Area - 0
Trojans - 5 Wyoming Area - 3
Trojans - 1 GAR 0
Trojans - 2 Hanover Area 1
Trojans - 5 Berwick - 0
Trojans - 1 Meyers - 4
Trojans - 1 Lake Lehman - 0
Trojans - 2 Pittston - 0
Trojans - 5 Wyoming Area - 0
Trojans - 6 GAR - 0
Trojans - 2 Hanover - 0
DIVISION I and DIVISION II
School: Nanticoke Area
Highlights: Has excelled at both midfield and forward for the Trojans
since his freshman season.
A very quick and aggressive player loaded with skills. Team captain
Area with 12 goals and 8 assists. Has totaled 20 goals and 20 assists
him 12th all-time on the Trojans scoring list.
Highlights: Albanese never missed a minute of action during his 3 years
as a starter, except for
the final 3 minutes of a match against Berwick this season. Finished
his final season
with the Trojans with 10 shutouts.
The Sunday Voice
WVC SOCCER COACHES
Josh Olzinski Mid
Jason Zmijewski Def
Robert Bertoni Def
Johnny Albanese Keeper
Joe Zannetti Fwd
Mack Martin Mid
Joe Zwiebel Def
Nanticoke loses in double-overtime
- Title edited by GNA Webdesign
Greater Nanticoke Area is becoming too familiar with
Exactly one year ago today, the Trojans felt
the wrath of a devastating defeat in a shootout to Dallas in the first
round of the district playoffs.
On Friday night, in the first round of the
2007 District 2 Class 2A tournament inside the Riverfront Sports Complex,
the Trojans were the recipients of yet another shocking setback.
With a two-goal lead 73 minutes into Nanticokes
match against Scranton Prep the ninth-ranked team in the state
it appeared the Trojans were going to pull off the upset.
But again, it just wasnt meant to be.
The Cavaliers scored twice in the final seven
minutes of the contest and then notched the game-winner in the second
overtime to win 3-2 and send the Trojans to their second consecutive
Scranton Prep (9-5-1) advanced to the semifinals
to face Crestwood on Tuesday at Scranton Memorial Stadium. The time
has not been announced.
It was a very well-played game on both
sides, said Nanticoke coach Mark Matusek. Its always
tough to lose this way, but I thought the guys played their hearts
out and I couldnt be much happier with their effort.
The game-winner came off the foot of Prep standout
Dylan Mencia. He beat the Nanticoke defense then slotted the ball
past keeper John Albanese. That miscue was one of few for Albanese,
who made several diving stabs and leaping grabs in the more than 107
minutes of soccer played.
Mencia, a sophomore, also scored the equalizing
goal with 4:29 left in the second half when he pulled Albanese away
from the net and found the right corner of the net.
I heard from other coaches how good he
was and we marked him the entire game, and I dont do that too
often, Matusek said of Mencia. Hes a good player
and just got free.
The Trojans (11-3-1) came out fired up and
quickly staked a 1-0 lead with 31:46 left in the first half when Josh
Olzinski took the ball from about 55 yards out and maneuvered his
way inside the 18-yard line, beating Prep keeper Anthony Hassey with
a shot in the right corner of the net.
Olzinski, a junior, had four of his teams
11 shots on goal in the first half.
Nanticoke opened a 2-0 lead with 1:20 left
in the first as Josh Lukaszewski got the ball in front of the net
off a corner kick. The shot was stopped by Hassey, but Will Grabinski
rebounded and tapped it past the Prep sophomore.
Then the second half came and the Cavaliers
showed why they are highly ranked in the state.
They outshot the Trojans 11-2 in the half and
came up with numerous opportunities before connecting for the two
goals late in the game.
A two-goal, I always say is a dangerous
lead, Matusek said. We were trying to and wanted to get
that third goal, but we unintentionally fell in a trap of playing
defense and (Prep) did a good job of keeping the pressure on.
Neither team had many opportunities in the
first overtime, but when the second sudden-death session started,
Nanticoke was knocking on the door several times, holding a 4-1 advantage
in shots before Mencias winner.
Adam Ryan scored Scranton Preps first
goal with 6:59 left in the game connecting off a corner kick.
The positives the Trojans will take from another
heart-wrenching defeat in the postseason is that they are only losing
one senior this years squad.
Sure, it is Albanese, arguably the best keeper
in the Wyoming Valley Conference, but Matusek said this is something
to learn from.
This is definitely a good thing for the
future, but we are losing a good keeper that will be hard to replace,
he said. Unfortunately, we just didnt do it tonight.
Playoff Outlook for the Trojans
Coach: Mark Matusek
Key Players: John Albanese, GK; Josh Olzinski, 27
points (10 goals, 7 assists); Joey Zannetti, 23 points (11 goals,
1 assist); Josh Lukaszewski 20 points (9 goals, 2 assists); Jason
Outlook: The only two losses the Trojans took this
year were to unbeaten Meyers, but they have a solid defense and will
be a tough competitor in their second straight trip to the tournament.
Last year, they lost an overtime marathon to Dallas in the first round.
They draw a tough Scranton Prep team today, but if this young team
remembers what it was like last year, the Cavaliers will have their
Lake-Lehman 1, Nanticoke 1, 2OT
Nanticokes Josh Lukaszewski
got the first goal of the game at the 9:04 mark in the first half
off a pass from Will Grabinski.
Jamie Bronsons unassisted goal with 38:17 left in the second
half tied the match.
The Trojans (10-2-1) have wrapped up a berth
in the District 2 Class 2A playoffs that start next week.
Mohawks win WVC Div. II title
(Note: Edited for space by GNA Webdesign - See full article in the
The biggest match in Wyoming Valley Conference Division
II this season definitely lived up to the expectations.
The top two teams, Meyers and Nanticoke, took
the field under the lights at Greater Nanticoke Areas football
stadium to duke it out for the division championship.
And the outcome wasnt settled until the
With 30 seconds left in the game and the crowd
and both benches on their feet, Trojans coach Mark Matusek pulled
his keeper and pressed the offense with hopes of forcing a tie to
send the game to overtime.
The veteran coachs strategy was effective
as Nanticoke got three scoring opportunities in that period, but the
Mohawks defense came up huge and held on for a 2-1 victory.
With the win, the Mohawks (13-0) clinched the
division title for the second consecutive year. They also extended
their conference-winning streak to 20 and have a Colorado Rockies-type
streak by claiming wins in 23 out of their last 24 contests.
That was a heck of a game, Meyers
coach Jack Nolan said after he was drenched with a bucket of ice water.
The guys worked hard. Im proud of them. Nanticoke is a
great, great team. They gave us fits and everything we wanted and
We have more to do. We want to have an
undefeated season and we got a lot of work to do starting next Thursday.
Next Thursday is when the District 2 tournament
is slated to begin. The Mohawks are the early favorite to be the No.
1 seed for the Class A tourney because no other team in A has zeroes
in the loss column in the district.
Meyers will host Hanover Area on Friday in
its last regular season match.
The Trojans (10-2) have two more matches left
before the District 2 Class 2A event. They can wrap up a second straight
trip to the tournament with wins against Lake-Lehman on Thursday and
Berwick on Friday.
With Trojans senior goalie John Albanese playing
out of net and a goal wide open as the seconds ticked off the clock,
Nanticoke made the most of its opportunities with the extra man right
until the clock struck zero, as Joe Zannetti had the last shot when
Leading up to that shot in the final seconds,
the Trojans were kicking the ball all around the net, but Meyers keeper
Pat Singer and his defense got the ball out of bounds twice. One shot
by Nanticoke sailed over the net.
Said Nanticoke assistant coach Ryan Amos about
the fantastic ending: Thats unbelievable, isnt it?
But what can you do? They gave an effort. And kept trying and even
had the chances to score right up until the end.
The eventual game-winning goal came with 19
minutes left in the second half when Omar Jobarteh slotted a shot
into the right corner of the goal past a diving Albanese. The assist
was from Nick Guesto.
To the pleasure of Amos, Nanticoke played better
this time than the last time it played Meyers, which resulted in a
But eerily, the game started the exact same
way, with the Trojans staking a 1-0 lead. This time, it was Zannetti
posting the score with 26:09 left in the first half.
The Mohawks tied it with 18:00 left in the
first when Brett Mirigliani found the back of the net from 15 yards
out. Guesto also had the assist on that goal.
The Injury Blog - Times
After Tuesday's schedule every team in the WVC will have played 13
of 14 division matches this season and injuries have taken its toil
on every team at this time of the season.
Perhaps the most eerie scenario has been for Greater Nanticoke Area.
In Friday's 5-3 win over Wyoming Area, the Trojans lost three integral
players to wounds, Josh Lukaszewski and Josh Olzinski are two of three
plagued with injuries and are the team's top scorers.
The trio are expected back within the next seven days, just in time
for a key divisional showdown against Meyers.
Around Division II - Times Leader
Nanticoke (10-1) and Meyers (10-0 before Tuesday's match against Wyoming
Area) are the frontrunners for the Division championship.
Lake-Lehman (6-3-1 before Tuesday) is still alive with four matches
The Trojans host both contenders before ending the season on the road
at Berwick. Lehman travels to Nanticoke on Thursday, while the Mohawks
make the trip on Oct. 16.
Nanticoke 2, Pittston Area 0
Nanticoke recorded its eighth shutout of the season
on Tuesday in a 2-0 win over Pittston Area in a Wyoming Valley Conference
Division II boys soccer match that ended with apprximately 32 minutes
left in the second half because of the weather.
Joey Zannetti scored both goals for Nanticoke (10-1) while Rob Bertoni
had an assist.
For the Patriots (6-4-1), keeper Nick DiBiassi made five saves.
Nanticoke 5, Wyoming Area 3
Joe Zannetti scored two goals to lead Nanticoke to
a win over Wyoming Area at home. Josh Olzinski, Alex Pawlush, and
Josh Lukeszewski rounded out the scoring for the Trojans, with Mack
Martin picking up a pair of assists.
Dan Bott scored all three goals for the Warriors.
Nanticoke 1, GAR 0
Joe Zannetti scored a first half goal off an assist
from Josh Olzinski to lead Nanticoke (8-1) to the win. John Albanese
had seven saves in goal.
Keith Yekel had 17 saves at goalie for GAR
Nanticoke 2, Hanover Area 1
At Hanover Area, a pair of
Joshes - Lukeszewski and Olzinski scored for the Trojans in the first
half. Pat Garrison scored for Hanover Area.
Nanticoke 5, Berwick 0
At Nanticoke Area, Joe Zannetti scored two goals
and added an assist as the Trojans shutout visiting Berwick. Alex
Pawlush and Josh Lukeszewski also scored, while Josh Olzinski had
John Albanese had five saves in the win.
Meyers 4, Nanticoke 1
Nanticoke scored the only first half goal, but the second half was
all Meyers. The Mohawks remained undefeated at 6-0.
Jon Montalvo led Meyers with two goals and an assist.
Josh Olzinski connected from Josh Lukaszewski for Nanticoke.
Nanticoke 1, Lehman 0
At Lake Lehman, Josh Lukaszewski scored off a corner kick with 31:20
remaining in the first half on Monday and Nanticoke Area hung on the
rest of the way for a shutout win over the Black Knights, 1-0. Nanticoke
goalie John Albanese had 19 saves.
The win gives the Trojans a 5-0 record in Division II.
LOVING EVERY MINUTE
To call John Albanese durable is to almost totally
understate what he truly is - constant, unchanging, permanent. Not
only has the Nanticoke Area senior started every single game since
he stepped into the keeper's role as a sophomore, but he's never missed
a single minute.
Never had a serious injury, never been taken out of
a game. He's goalkeeping bedrock. And, boy, is Nanticoke Area glad
to have him back there.
"This guy, I believe, could be one of
the best keepers in the league, if not the best," Nanticoke Area
coach Mark Matusek said.
But just what makes him so good?
Directing a veteran back line, Albanese and
the Trojans have not allowed a goal through four games this season,
all wins. That, along with his sturdy frame and mobility, is the physical
Some of Albanese's skill is mental, as he's
gained an extreme confidence in goal. He's gone from relative silence
as a sophomore to directing his back line into proper position.
He has developed trustworthy instincts so that,
when the opposing offense gets within 30 yards, he isn't out of position.
"You have to be bouncing around looking
for the shot," Albanese said. "You have to think what they're
going to do."
And it shows in the way he plays. In the Trojans'
win over Pittston Area on Wednesday, he was not shy about running
for balls wide of the net, and taking the game into his own gloves.
Certainly, some of Albanese's confidence comes from the experienced
defenders in front of him.
But Albanese has also come to know how to play
off them, knowing who's good in the air and good off the ball. That
on-field rapport and most of his confidence comes from all of Albanese's
"As time (went) on, seeing the game,"
Albanese said. "Playing made the game more knowledgeable to me."
Though, it wasn't until the District 2 playoffs
(Class AA) last season that he realized just how much confidence and
knowledge of the game he had. In the first round, the Trojans went
to Dallas, and faced a potent Division I offense. The Mountaineers
won, but not before Albanese stopped 49 shots and sent the game to
penalty kicks - Dallas won 1-0.
"He played the best game I've seen a keeper
play," Matusek said.
Dallas keeper Peter Steve lauded Albanese,
saying in the October 28 game story, "(Albanese) was shutting
us down. We had many opportunities and he just kept coming up big."
As for Albanese, he reflected back on the game
and said he developed a lot of confidence right then.
"(Dallas) was so good and had so many
shots. They don't really match up to anyone in this league,"
Armed with that, he feels a responsibility
to become the leader with a core group of seniors gone from the 2006
team. And if the Trojans find their way back to the district playoffs,
you can bet Albanese will be back in net, controlling the game.
For every single minute.
Nanticoke 2, Pittston 0
Mack Martin scored an unassisted goal in the 55th
minute to break a scoreless tie and lift Nanticoke to a 2-0 win over
Pittston Area in a Wyoming Valley Conference Soccer Match on Wednesday.
Josh Olzinski polished things off with 15 seconds
remaining, scoring with an assist from Will Grabinski.
John Albanese made 4 saves in net for the shut-out.
Nick Dibiase stopped 10 stops for the Patriots.
Nanticoke 5, Wyoming 0
At Exeter, Josh Olzinski put together a second half
hat trick to lead Nanticoke. Josh Lukeszewski added a goal and an
assist and Joe Zannetti drilled a first half goal.
Nanticoke 6, GAR 0
Josh Lukeszewski lead the way with three goals in
a convincing win against the Grenadiers. Josh Olzinski added a goal
and three assists for the winners.
Nanticoke 2, Hanover 0
At Nanticoke, Josh Olzinski had a goal and an assist
to lead Nanticoke past Hanover.
Olzinski assisted on a goal by Joe Zannetti in the
38th minute and later scored unassisted in the 60th minute. Ryan
Vnuk had 11 saves.
Trojan Soccer Capsule
Mark Matusek, 19th season
Home Field: High School
or West Side Park (West Grand Street, Nanticoke)
2006 Record: 13-3-0
Key Players Lost: Zach Martin, Dan Olzinski,
Ryan Grabinski, Kris Moran, Matt Kruczek
Key Players: John Albanese, sr. GK; Josh Olzinski,
jr., MF/F; Robert Bertoni jr., D; Jason Zmijewski, jr., D; Mack Martin,
jr., MF; Joey Zwiebel, so., D; Joey Zannetti, jr., MF/F; Josh Lukaszewski,
so., MF/F; Will Grabinski, jr., outside/MF; Mike Yalch, fr., D
Coachs Comments: Theres
a good group of kids on this team who have had a lot of playing time
the last few years. I think they gained a lot of valuable experience
because the two previous years we were down one year and then challenging
for the top the next. Once you taste that you want to get back to
the top. They gained confidence and will be ready.
Players to Watch
John Albanese, Nanticoke: The senior goalie
helped Nanticoke allow a division-low 13 goals last season and is
the only senior on the team.
Other key divisional games: Lake-Lehman vs. Nanticoke
(Sept. 18 at Lake-Lehman, Oct. 12 at Nanticoke);
Nanticoke vs. Meyers (Sept. 21 at Meyers,
Oct. 16 at Nanticoke): Last year the two teams battled each other,
but Meyers won both times to win the division title.