Thursday, July 10, 2014





Okun is a head above


February 19. 2013 8:49PM
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For Justin Okun, his 2012 season statistically wasn't as spectacular as the 2011 campaign.


But that's because opposing defenses keyed on the Coughlin standout.


The senior still had an outstanding season, earning an All-State selection for the second straight season as he helped the Crusaders claim their second District 2 title in three years and their third state playoff berth in his four years on the team.


Getting all-state is really a blessing and to be two-time all-state you really have to be competitive as a team, said Okun, who was selected as The Times Leader Boys Soccer Player of the Year. My teammates really pushed me hard because there were kids around me that really made me step up my game because of the competition around me. My team really helped me play a lot better.


The forward's stats this season weren't alarming as he was fourth in Division I of the Wyoming Valley Conference with 41 points, consisting of 17 goals and seven assists. As a junior, he led the division in points with 60 and goals with 25, and chipped in 10 assists. He concluded his impressive four-year career with 52 goals, 28 assists and 132 points.


If there's one thing Okun's stats in 2012 prove it's that the Crusaders' 16-3-1 record was a total team effort. Teammate Pat Malone finished with the same amount of goals and one more assist than Okun to end third in the division in points. Up-and-coming sophomore Travis Keil showed he is going to be a force in the WVC for the next two years after compiling 19 points, not including a pair of goals in the District 2 Class 2A championship match.


Me and Pat would set Travis up and he set us up, Okun said about the feared threesome. It was a good triangle for us and it made it a lot easier for us to succeed.


And the Crusaders defense was exceptional all season, allowing just 18 goals in 20 games and more than one goal just three times in the regular season to go with eight shutouts. The only games they gave up more than two goals all season were a pair of four-goal games to rival Dallas late in the season.


Before most of the games I would tell the team not to worry about scoring because all we had to do was score more than one goal because I knew if we could just get one or two in we had a chance of winning, Okun added.


Okun plans to play soccer collegiately and has verbally committed to Division I Siena, but he can't sign with the Saints until the official signing date on Feb. 6.




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