A special debut and a finale for Meyers, GAR boys soccer

By Dave Rosengrant - For Times Leader
Meyers’ Michael Krasnavage, right, gets congratulated by teammate David Kasper after scoring against GAR in WVC boys soccer action Tuesday evening at Wilkes-Barre Memorial Stadium. - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
Meyers’ Caden Strobel, left, heads the ball over GAR’s Bryant Espinoza in WVC boys soccer action Tuesday evening at Wilkes-Barre Memorial Stadium. - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
GAR goalkeeper Joel Garza deflects the ball on a Meyers scoring attempt in WVC boys soccer action Tuesday evening at Wilkes-Barre Memorial Stadium. - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
Meyers’ Chris Flores (38) looks to score against GAR in WVC boys soccer action Tuesday evening at Wilkes-Barre Memorial Stadium. - - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
Meyers’ Anthony Macko, left, chases the ball ahead of GAR’s Rafael Amigon and Roman Regalado in WVC boys soccer action Tuesday evening at Wilkes-Barre Memorial Stadium. - - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
The Meyers and GAR boys soccer teams line up for a joint team photo before their final game against each other competing as separate schools Tuesday evening at Wilkes-Barre Memorial Stadium. - - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

WILKES-BARRE – It’s a rare or special occurrence when opposing teams take a group photo before any game, let alone a rivalry game.

Tuesday night at Wilkes-Barre Memorial Stadium was certainly a special occasion.

The Meyers and GAR boys soccer teams opened their final seasons of play after decades of historic battles. The Mohawks won their last season opener 11-0, but the sentimental match was more than the outcome.

GAR coach Len Witczak suggested the group photo, and everyone gladly agreed. The teams will face off one last time before merging next season later this month at the Grenadier’s home field at Coal Street Park. Every sport from both schools and Coughlin will merge next year to form a new team as part of a consolidation plan.

“It’s a tradition ending, Meyers and GAR in any sport even if it’s checkers it’s a big deal some days,” Meyers coach Jack Nolan said. “It was nice to get that (the picture) in, to show the solidarity between the city schools.”

It was fitting that the rivals started their seasons against each other, and under the lights at the stadium, where so much history has been made in soccer along with other sports for both programs. The stands were packed with fans resembling a turnout for some football games, and even though the score was lopsided everyone stayed until the final whistle blew.

“The kids enjoyed it, and we had a nice crowd,” Nolan said. “Anytime Meyers and GAR play, I think it draws the crowd a little more. The kids were out in force so it was a nice atmosphere for the community. One more time we have to go to Coal Street and play them, but it was nice to get this one in under the lights and give the kids something special.”

On the field, Meyers scored three goals in the first six minutes and rolled from there. The Mohawks tallied eight in the first half all credited to different scorers. In fact, the only player from Meyers to score more than one goal was captain Ryan Casey, who scored near the midway point of the first half before getting scoring started in the first minute of the second half. No scoring occurred after the 55th minute.

The Meyers defense also held serve only allowing three shots on goal in the entire match, and none during the first 40 minutes.

Mohawk defenders David Kasper, Anthony Macko, Cole Walker and Kevin Pala, who Nolan says are much better than last year’s unit which advanced to the state tournament for the first time in school history, led the defense along with keeper Joel Vazquez.

GAR is a youthful team, but still has eight players returning from last year. Senior Bryant Espinoza scored six goals a year ago, while classmate Rafael Amigon scored four to go with five assists, but they had problems with the Meyers defense.

“Our defense is going to be one of our strong points this season,” Nolan added. “I think we’re going to be a tough team to score against, I really do.”

Tunkhannock 7,

Nanticoke Area 4

Eddie Melan had a hat trick and two assists and Alex Paduck scored both of his goals in the second half to secure victory for the Tigers.

Paduck also added three assists. Adam Eckhart scored all four goals for the Trojans.

Hazleton Area 2,

Berwick 1

Joseph Rosero took a feed from Chris Wolk and converted the winning goal to lift the Cougars in double overtime.

Misael Hernandez scored in the first half to give Berwick an early lead, but Raul Laro tied it in the second half for the Cougars.

Dallas 2,

Valley West 0

Alex Solano had a goal and an assist and Kyle Greenwood and the Mountaineers shut out the Spartans.

Bryce Chopyak scored in the first half for the winning goal.

Hazleton Area 7, Nanticoke Area 3

Wil Garcia scored the first goal of each half and Gabriel Fabian had a hat trick to spark the Cougars.

Joseph Rosero made three assists in the victory.

Crestwood 9,

Pittston Area 0

Sean Murphy scored four times and added an assist to pace the Patriots.

Max Gariano had a hat trick and two assists in the win, while Hubert Herrera added a goal and three assists for the Comets.

GIRLS SOCCER

Berwick 5,

Hazleton Area 0

The Bulldogs used goals by five different players and Katie Starr punctuated the victory by scoring in the final minute.

Crestwood 9,

Pittston Area 2

Melissa Herrera started and ended the night’s scoring, finishing with a hat trick to carry the Comets.

Chyanne Cook scored twice in the win.

Dallas 5,

Valley West 1

Allie Francis had a hat trick and Sarah Krokos made 10 saves to spark the Mountaineers.

Meyers 3,

GAR 1

Hayley Krasnavage and Isabelle Davies scored goals in the first half and the Mohawks hung on for victory.

BOYS SOCCER

Meyers 11, GAR 0

GAR`0`0` – `0

Meyers`8`3` – `0

First half — 1. MEY, Caden Strobel (Ryan Casey) 37:10; 2. MEY, own goal 36:45; 3. MEY, Tanner Nilon (Casey) 33:47; 4. MEY, Casey (Kenny Dewey) 26:20; 5. MEY, Michael Krasnavage 13:52; 6. MEY, Jack Gilgallon (Alex Silker) 7:40; 7. MEY, Raul Flores (Silker) 3:15; 8. MEY, Aiden McFarlane (Gilgallon) 2:45. Second half — 9. MEY, Casey (Strobel) 39:30; 10. MEY, Dewey (Flores) 26:50; 11., MEY, David Kasper 24:40.

Shots — GAR 3, MEY 30. Saves — GAR 9 (Joel Garza); MEY 1 (Joel Vazquez). Corners — GAR 1, MEY 7.

Tunkhannock 7, Nanticoke Area 4

Tunkhannock`4`3 — 7

Nanticoke Area`3`1 — 4

First half — 1. TUN, Eddie Melan (Alex Paduck); 2. NAN, Adam Eckhart; 3. TUN, Melan (Paduck); 4. NAN, Eckhart (Joe Day); 5. TUN, Braiden Jerome; 6. TUN, Melan (Paduck); 7. NAN, Eckhart (Matthew Gomelko). Second half — 8. TUN, Drew Dimeolo (Luke Carpenter); 9. TUN, Paduck (Melon); 10. TUN, Paduck (Melon); 11. NAN, Eckhart.

Shots — TUN 23; NAN 10. Saves — TUN 2; NAN 12. Corner kicks — TUN 5; NAN 3.

Hazleton Area 2, Berwick 1 (2 OT)

Hazleton Area`0`1`0`1 — 2

Berwick`1`0`0`0 — 1

First half — 1. BER, Misael Hernandez. Second half — 2. HAZ, Raul Laro. 2nd OT — 3. HAZ, Joseph Rosero (Chris Wolk).

Dallas 2, Valley West 0

Valley West`0`0 — 0

Dallas`1`1 — 2

First half — 1. DAL, Bryce Chopyak (Alex Solano), 17:32. Second half — 2. DAL, Solano (Zach Holthaus), 34:36.

Shots — WVW 11; DAL 15. Saves — WVW 3 (Chris Stoodley); DAL 7 (Kyle Greenwood). Corner kicks — WVW 0; DAL 1.

Hazleton Area 7, Nanticoke Area 3

Nanticoke Area`1`2 — 3

Hazleton Area`2`5 — 7

Dallas 2, Valley West 0

Valley West`0`0 — 0

Dallas`1`1 — 2

First half — 1. DAL, Bryce Chopyak (Alex Solano), 17:32. Second half — 2. DAL, Solano (Zach Holthaus), 34:36.

Shots — WVW 11; DAL 15. Saves — WVW 3 (Chris Stoodley); DAL 7 (Kyle Greenwood). Corner kicks — WVW 0; DAL 1.

GIRLS SOCCER

Berwick 5, Hazleton Area 0

Berwick`2`3 — 5

Hazleton Area`0`0 — 0

First half — 1. BER, S. DiFinnis, (19:41); 2. BER, D. Cruz, (35:03). Second half — 3. BER, M Coolbaugh, (48:30); 4. BER, L. Force, (68:56); 5. BER, Katie Starr, (79:12).

Shots — BER 12; HAZ 4. Saves — BER 4; HAZ 6. Corner kicks — BER 4; HAZ 0.

Crestwood 9, Pittston Area 2

Crestwood`2`7 — 9

Pittston Area`0`2 — 2

First half — 1. CRE, Melissa Herrera (Nina Atie), 3:40; 2. CRE, Chyanne Cook (Herrera), 20:39. Second half — 3. CRE, Nicole Joseph (Atie), 40:20; 4. CRE, Herrera (Kelly Velehoski), 40:52; 5. CRE, Katelyn Whetstone, 43:49; 6. PA, Gia Innamorati, 46:45; 7. CRE, Cook (Hannah Kresge), 49:55; 8. CRE, Allie Stover, 53:00; 9. CRE, Julia Johnson (Megan Sypniewski), 56:55; 10. PA, Katelyn Wesp (Rhiannon Okuniewski), 74:36; 11. CRE, Herrera (Rachel Zingaretti), 75:22.

Shots — CRE 25; PA 10. Saves — CRE 6 (Katelyn Whetstone); PA 18 (Alysha Smigiel, Caroline Wesp). Corner kicks — CRE 2; PA 2.

Dallas 5, Valley West 1

Dallas`4`1 — 5

Valley West`0`1 — 1

First half — 1. DAL, Allie Francis (Delevan), 4:32; 2. DAL, Francis (Schappert), 16:00; 3. DaL, Francis; 4. DAL, Sweitzer (Francis), 30:02. Second half — 5. DAL, Francis, 41:26.

Shots — DAL 22; WVW 15. Saves — DAL 10 (Sarah Krokos); WVW 4 (Morgan Solano). Corner kicks — DAL 3; WVW 2.

Meyers 3, GAR 1

Meyers`2`1 — 3

GAR`0`1 — 1

First half — 1. MEY, Hayley Krasnavage (Abbey Weidler), 24:48; 2. MEY, Isabelle Davies (Christina Alexander), 13:58. Second half — 3. GAR,VAnessa Luna, 29:55; 4. MEY, 23:09.

Shots — MEY 12; GAR 10. Saves — MEY 8 (Emma Barker); GAR 10 (Rosy Sosa). Corner kicks — MEY 0; GAR 6.

Meyers’ Michael Krasnavage, right, gets congratulated by teammate David Kasper after scoring against GAR in WVC boys soccer action Tuesday evening at Wilkes-Barre Memorial Stadium.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_TTL090518Meyers-GAR-BoysSoccer_6-1-1-2.jpgMeyers’ Michael Krasnavage, right, gets congratulated by teammate David Kasper after scoring against GAR in WVC boys soccer action Tuesday evening at Wilkes-Barre Memorial Stadium. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

Meyers’ Caden Strobel, left, heads the ball over GAR’s Bryant Espinoza in WVC boys soccer action Tuesday evening at Wilkes-Barre Memorial Stadium.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_TTL090518Meyers-GAR-BoysSoccer_3-1-1-3.jpgMeyers’ Caden Strobel, left, heads the ball over GAR’s Bryant Espinoza in WVC boys soccer action Tuesday evening at Wilkes-Barre Memorial Stadium. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

GAR goalkeeper Joel Garza deflects the ball on a Meyers scoring attempt in WVC boys soccer action Tuesday evening at Wilkes-Barre Memorial Stadium.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_TTL090518Meyers-GAR-BoysSoccer_5-1-.jpgGAR goalkeeper Joel Garza deflects the ball on a Meyers scoring attempt in WVC boys soccer action Tuesday evening at Wilkes-Barre Memorial Stadium. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

Meyers’ Chris Flores (38) looks to score against GAR in WVC boys soccer action Tuesday evening at Wilkes-Barre Memorial Stadium.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_TTL090518Meyers-GAR-BoysSoccer_4-1-1-1.jpgMeyers’ Chris Flores (38) looks to score against GAR in WVC boys soccer action Tuesday evening at Wilkes-Barre Memorial Stadium. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

Meyers’ Anthony Macko, left, chases the ball ahead of GAR’s Rafael Amigon and Roman Regalado in WVC boys soccer action Tuesday evening at Wilkes-Barre Memorial Stadium.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_TTL090518Meyers-GAR-BoysSoccer_2-1-.jpgMeyers’ Anthony Macko, left, chases the ball ahead of GAR’s Rafael Amigon and Roman Regalado in WVC boys soccer action Tuesday evening at Wilkes-Barre Memorial Stadium. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

The Meyers and GAR boys soccer teams line up for a joint team photo before their final game against each other competing as separate schools Tuesday evening at Wilkes-Barre Memorial Stadium.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_TTL090518Meyers-GAR-BoysSoccer_1-1-.jpgThe Meyers and GAR boys soccer teams line up for a joint team photo before their final game against each other competing as separate schools Tuesday evening at Wilkes-Barre Memorial Stadium. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

By Dave Rosengrant

For Times Leader

Reach Times Leader sports at 570-829-7143 or on Twitter @TLSports

Reach Times Leader sports at 570-829-7143 or on Twitter @TLSports