It may seem like a broken record spinning around proclaiming the same thing over and over that Dallas is the Wyoming Valley Conference Division I champion and is heading into the District 2 Class 2A tournament as the No. 1 seed.
It’s now four consecutive seasons that can be said for the Mountaineers. This time, though, Dallas is trying to fix what’s been broken by getting over the hump and winning district gold, which has not been accomplished the previous three tries.
In fact, in two of those years Dallas was ousted in the first round of the playoffs by the No. 8 seed; the other time the squad advanced to the finals but fell short to Scranton Prep.
This tim,e though, things seem different. Entering with a veteran bunch that is hungry for gold. They enter on a 12-game winning streak and a 14-match stretch without losing since dropping the season-opener to Crestwood. A chunk of those games were played without WVC Divison I-leading scorer A.J. Nardone in the lineup. The senior missed four and a half games with an injury and the Mountaineers still went 4-0 in that time showing they have depth. Once he came back, they started putting up mad offensive numbers and appear headed in the right direction this time.
Dallas is one of 11 WVC teams participating in District 2 tournaments beginning this week.
Here’s a look at all 11 WVC postseason squads.
Favorite: Abington Heights
An Upset Pick: Pittston Area over Delaware Valley in the first round
Bold Prediction: Hazleton Area’s Shane Johnson, who scored just three goals all season but two in the Cougars’ last game, scores three in a play-in game victory.
Championship Prediction: Wyoming Valley West over Abington Heights
Hazleton Area Cougars
Coach: Rob Schoener
Last appearance: The Cougars played in the event last season and were ousted by eventual champion Delaware Valley in the first round.
Signature moment of 2013 season: The Cougars ended the regular season on a good note beating Holy Redeemer, 2-0.
Leading scorers: Phil Veet (2g, 3a, 7pts), Shane Johnson (3g, 6pts), Caleb Ancharski (keeper).
The Skinny: Last year, Hazleton Area was the eighth seed. This time around the club will have to win a play-in game to advance to the tournament. The school has never had a D2 championship in boys soccer.
Pittston Area Patriots
Coach: Pat O’Boyle
Last appearance: Last season, the Patriots lost to Wallenpaupack in the first round.
Signature moment of 2013 season: Pittston Area has won two of its last three matches and the one loss was decided by just one goal. In those three contests, the team has outscored its opponents 15-7.
Leading scorers: Jordan Consagra (18g, 9a, 45pts), Matt Tavaglione (7g, 9a, 23 pts), Brandon Shamnoski (6g, 2a, 14pts), Colin Tracy and Taylor Roberts (keepers)
The Skinny: Now in the postseason for the fifth straight season, the Patriots appear ready to make a run with a veteran group as they try to win the first boys soccer district title in school history.
Wyoming Valley West Spartans
Coach: Charlie Whited
Last appearance: The Spartans picked up a win in districts last season, knocking off North Pocono before falling to Abington Heights in the semifinals.
Signature moment of 2013 season: Valley West won five of its first six games of the season, including a win over Coughlin and one-goal loss to Division I champion Dallas in overtime.
Leading scorers: Eddie Thomas (21g, 1a, 43pts), Nick Singer (6g, 18a, 30pts), Mike Bazadona (9g, 3a, 21pts), Derek Denman (keeper)
The Skinny: It’s become a ritual to see the Spartans in the playoffs as they are now in the tournament for the 26th straight season. But they haven’t won a district gold since 2009. In three games against Class 3A teams this season, WVW outscored Hazleton Area and Pittston Area 21-2. The team also was not beaten by Coughlin in 2013 winning once and tying the second time. The Cougars got in the tournament because Williamsport did not have a .500 record or better. The Millionaires had a 2-14-1 record.
An upset pick: Tunkhannock wins two games to advance to the district final.
Bold Prediction: Ed Lukowski, from Nanticoke, records his fourth straight hat trick leading Nanticoke to a first round victory.
Championship Prediction: Dallas over Tunkhannock
Coach: Rob Havard
Last appearance: Coughlin won the district title last season before bowing out in the first round of the state tourney.
Signature moment of 2013 season: After losing to Wyoming Valley West on Sept. 20, the Crusaders won their next five games only giving up one goal in that time and scoring 31.
Leading scorers: Tommy Sebia (20g, 4a, 44pts), Travis Keil (16g, 10a, 42 pts), Dave Marriggi (5g, 11a, 21 pts), Steve Johnson (keeper)
The Skinny: It’s now 19 consecutive seasons that Coughlin has reached the postseason. The team has only had trouble with Dallas and Wyoming Valley West. Take out those four scores and Coughlin has allowed just two goals in 11 games.
Coach: Pat Upton
Last appearance: In 2012, the Comets knocked off Berwick in the first round before falling to Lake-Lehman in the semifinals.
Signature moment of 2013 season: This team always seems to give Dallas fits. That happened again to start the campaign when the Comets defeated Dallas 4-1 in the season-opener. They’ve also racked up 12 goals, and gave up one in two games against Valley West.
Leading scorers: John Andrews (15g, 9a, 39pts), Kyle Gegaris (12g, 5a, 27pts), Matt Wimpfheimer (9g, 5a, 23 pts), Lance Lysiack (keeper)
The Skinny: 2013 marks the fifth consecutive season in which the Comets are in the district tournament and are searching for their first district gold since 1993. All three losses this season have come to either Dallas or Coughlin.
Coach: Chris Scharff
Last appearance: Dallas was upset in the first round last season by Lake-Lehman.
Signature moment of 2013 season: Averaging just two goals a game in its first eight games, Dallas has tallied 42 goals over its last seven for an average of six goals a game.
Leading scorers: A.J Nardone (22g, 8a, 52pts), Nate Wood (13g, 8a, 34pts), Matt Saba (9g, 5a, 23pts), Rory Mullen, Blake Williams (keepers)
The Skinny: There has not been a year since Scharff has been in charge that the Mountaineers did not make the playoffs; this makes 16 years in a row now after they claimed their fourth WVC Division I title in a row. There have also been four district championships during Scharff’s tenure with the last coming in 2007.
Lake-Lehman Black Knights
Coach: Mike Kostrobala
Last appearance: As No. 8 seed last season, the team advanced all the way to the District 2 Class 2A championship game last season before dropping a decision to Coughlin.
Signature moment of 2013 season: The Black Knights got off to a 2-0 start scoring nine goals and allowing two.
Leading scorers: Austin Harry (7g, 2a, 16pts), Nick Wnuk (4g, 3a, 11pts), Mike Symeon (3g, 2a, 8pts), Collin Masters (keeper) — stats do not include Saturday’s game
The Skinny: Lehman is in the tournament for the seventh straight season afteer defeating Holy Redeemer in a WVC play-in game Saturday afternoon and is looking for its first championship since 1998. The Knights lost a lot from last year, but they should still have a run in them.
Coach: Mark Matusek
Last appearance: The Trojans haven’t been in the playoffs since 2008 when they lost in the first round to Valley View.
Signature moment of 2013 season: Nanticoke, from Division III, has shown it can play with the top teams going 4-1 against teams from Division II.
Leading scorers: Ed Lukowski (24g, 9a, 57pts), Wiston Godoy (14g, 9a, 37pts), Rees Roberts (10g, 5a, 25pts), Carmelo Pioquinto (keeper)
The Skinny: It’s been a long road back to get into the tournament once again for the Trojans, who have never won a district title. However, the Trojans are streaking having won eight in a row and tallying 48 goals in those eight matches en route to a Division III title.
Coach: Mark Stroney
Last appearance: Last season, the Tigers lost to Scranton Prep in the first round.
Signature moment of 2013 season: Tunkhannock has won nine of its last 10 games. Perhaps the best of that bunch came on Sept. 30 when the team was trailing Wyoming Seminary 2-0 and came back top win 3-2.
Leading scorers: Aidan Cronin (25g, 7a, 57pts), Brian Ly (8g, 13a, 29pts), Pat Cronin (3g, 9a, 15pts), Zac Daniels (keeper)
The Skinny: Make it four years in a row that Tunkhannock is in the postseason and is coming off a Division II championship. Still, the Tigers are looking for their first D2 boys soccer title, but with three more wins than last season and a hungry bunch, they can be a lot to handle for some teams.
Favorite: Mountain View
An Upset Pick: Dunmore over Holy Cross
Bold Prediction: Wyoming Seminary has recorded just two shutouts all season, but the Blue Knights get another one in an opening round win at Lakeland.
Championship Prediction: Mountain View over Forest City
Coach: Jack Nolan
Last appearance: Last season, the Mohawks won a play-in game over Old Forge before falling to Mountain View, the eventual PIAA champion, in the first round.
Signature moment of 2013 season: In what has been a rough season for the team because of injuries, they can look to games early in the season when they beat Hanover Area and MMI, back-to-back picking up 10 goals in two games.
Leading scorers: Cal Lisman (4g, 3a, 11pts), Jarek Hernandez (4g, 2a, 10pts), Exel Mendoza (3g, 2a, 8pts), David Torres (keeper)
The Skinny: The Mohawks are in a play-in game for the fourth consecutive season. They have won the last three to advance to the district event, in which they’ve participated in eight of the last nine seasons. They are still looking for their first district gold, but have been to the semis three times since the streak began.
Wyoming Seminary Blue Knights
Coach: Charlie Carrick
Last appearance: In 2012, Sem bowed out in the first round of the event, losing to Forest City.
Signature moment of 2013 season: During a four-game winning streak from Sept. 20-28, the Blue Knights outscored opponents 19-3.
Leading scorers: Andrew Drewchin (15g, 4a, 34pts), Andriy Molchanov (15g, 1a, 31pts), Malcolm Lumia (6g, 4a, 16pts), Will Kozar (keeper)
The Skinny: Make it 16 consecutive seasons that the Blue Knights have advanced to districts as they look for their first district gold since 2002. They have won their last two games piling up 12 goals and only allowing two.