ATHENS RIDES BIG SECOND HALF TO 5-0 WIN OVER NEB

ATHENS RIDES BIG SECOND HALF TO 5-0 WIN OVER NEB

September 27, 2021 Tim Birney

ATHENS — Athens scored four goals in the second half to pull away from Northeast Bradford in a 5-0 win here Monday afternoon in NTL boys soccer action.

With the win, the Wildcats improve to 4-1 in league play, and knock the Panthers, now 3-1-1 in the NTL, from the ranks of the unbeaten. Wellsboro leads the league with a 4-0-1 record.

After more than 28 minutes of scoreless action to start the game, senior Daniel Horton put the Wildcats on the board with 10:30 remaining in the first half.

Senior Mason Hughey made it 2-0 with 27:10 remaining in the contest, and junior Brayden Post scored to up the lead to 3-0 about eight minutes later.

With 14:05 remaining, senior Tucker Brown gave Athens a 4-0 lead, and Hughey capped the scoring with 9:23 left in the game.

Athens had a 13-4 advantage in shots-on-goal, and a 3-2 edge in corner kicks.

Grant Liechty recorded three saves for the Wildcats.

Athens, now 5-4 overall, travels to Corning Tuesday.

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'SWEET 16' FOR VAN HOLDEN; ATHENS BLANKS WILLIAMSON, 6-0

'SWEET 16' FOR VAN HOLDEN; ATHENS BLANKS WILLIAMSON, 6-0

September 23, 2021 Tim Birney

TIOGA JUNCTION, Pa. — Junior Levent Van Holden netted a hat trick, and Athens scored five second-half goals in a 6-0 win over Williamson here Thursday afternoon in NTL boys soccer.

“It’s a good win after Tuesday,” said Athens coach Jake Lezak in reference to the Wildcats’ 5-3 home loss to Wellsboro.

“We know we need to win out (in the league),” he added. “I hope this (win) helps the guys settle down, and get focused.”

Van Holden’s first varsity hat trick made for a “good birthday present for him,” said Lezak.

“It was a Sweet 16,” said Lezak.

“He definitely gave us a spark,” noted Lezak. “We know he’s capable of doing just what he did tonight.

“He very much doesn’t give himself enough credit,” continued Lezak. “Before the game we talked about what we needed him to do.

“In the first half, it was a different position for him, we didn’t train him there, but he has a high soccer IQ, he understands the game very well,” added Lezak. “We talked at the half … getting him to make adjustments, and he went out and did it.”

VanHolden scored midway through the first half to give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead, which it would take into the half.

The Wildcats put the game out of reach quickly in the second half. Van Holden scored another unassisted goal two minutes after the intermission, then scored again about four minutes later, off a feed from senior Mason Hughey, to make it 3-0.

Sophomore Korey Miller scored twice in a 2 1/2-minute span to give Athens a 5-0 lead with 26:06 remanning in the game. The first goal was assisted by junior Brayden Post, and the second by Hughey.

With 17:04 remaining in the match, Hughey capped the scoring, off an assist from Van Holden.

The Wildcats were playing without their leading scorer, and Lezak said that played a part in their slow start.

“We didn’t have Nate Quinn tonight, so we shuffled a couple of guys around,” he said. “It took them a while to get settled in, in the first half.

“We were putting some good pressure on, but we weren’t being really dangerous,” Lezak noted. “We were taking a lot of shots, and they were all on target … we had some good chances in the first half.

“We talked about what we needed to do at halftime, and the guys adjusted … and they responded the right way,” Lezak added.

Athens had a 22-3 advantage in shots-on-goal, while both teams had three corner kicks.

Grant Liechty had three saves in net for the Wildcats.

Athens, now 4-4, hosts Northeast Bradford Monday.

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WELLSBORO RALLIES IN SECOND HALF; TOPS ATHENS, 5-3

WELLSBORO RALLIES IN SECOND HALF; TOPS ATHENS, 5-3

September 21, 2021 Tim Birney

ATHENS — Four different players scored goals, including three in a 4 1/2-minute span, to lead Wellsboro to a, 5-3, come-from-behind win over Athens here in NTL boys soccer action at Alumni Stadium.

“Truthfully, it is unacceptable on our part,” said longtime Athens coach Jake Lezak. “Mentally, the guys have to get it figured out.

“(Wellsboro) capitalized on some very poor team defending, and individual defending … and took advantage of miscues and bad plays.

“I mean, we gave up five goals, four in the second half — three within about five minutes, and it was 100 percent on us,” added Lezak. “The guys have to take ownership of it, and do a better job with the mental side of the game.”

Lezak said there was some good in the game for the Wildcats, but once it went bad, his team did not respond.

“In my opinion, we had the better of the play for all, but about 12 minutes of the game, most of that in the second half.

“We have all the tools to be successful. We had all the tools tonight to win, and we simply did not put it together for 80 minutes,” said Lezak. “It’s not like you have to play a mistake-free game, but you certainly can’t fold like that.

“We didn’t play a team game, and (Wellsboro) did,” noted Lezak. “When we started making mistakes, guys started standing and watching.

“You can’t win games with 11 guys working together,” he added.

Wellsboro’s Sam Rudy scored about 7 1/2 minutes into the game, and Green Hornets held the lead for more than 25 minutes.

With 6:38 remaining in the half, senior Nate Quinn, off a feed from senior Daniel Horton, found the back of the net to tie the game at 1-1.

Three minutes later, Quinn, off an assist from senior Mason Hughey, ripped a shot into the net gain to give the Wildcats a 2-1 lead.

About 4 1/2 minutes into the second half, Jacoo Abadi scored for the Green Hornets to tie the game at 2-2.

Hughey put Athens ahead 3-2 with a goal about 14 minutes later, but Wellsboro answered with a trio of goals in rapid succession.

With 19:03 remaining, Matthew Richards found the back of the net to tie the game at 3-3. Just 41 seconds later, Rudy gave the Green Hornets the lead for good, at 4-3.

Jack Poirer added an insurance goal less than four minutes later to put Wellsboro up 5-3.

“We created opportunities and finished our shots tonight, a combination we have been missing. The boys continue to play with great resolve,” said Wellsboro coach Todd Fitch.

Lezak, now in his 17th season, said he’s not sure the last time Athens gave up five goals in an NTL match.

“I would say you would have to go back to my first couple years, when Troy was dominating the league.”

Wellsboro had a 16-15 edge in shots-on-goal, while Athens had a 4-3 advantage in corner kicks.

Grant Liechty had five saves in net for the Wildcats.

Athens, now 3-4 overall and 2-1 in NTL play, travels to Williamson Thursday.

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QUINN, MILLER SCORE HAT TRICKS IN 8-0 WIN OVER GALETON

QUINN, MILLER SCORE HAT TRICKS IN 8-0 WIN OVER GALETON

September 16, 2021 Tim Birney

ATHENS — Senior Nate Quinn and sophomore Korey Miller scored three goals apiece to lead Athens to an 8-0 win over Galeton here Thursday afternoon in NTL boys soccer action.

Miller opened the scoring with an unassisted goal nine minutes into the contest. About 2 /12 minutes later, Quinn scored off a feed from Daniel Horton, to make it 2-0.

Just 79 seconds later, Horton and Quinn teamed up against to up the Athens lead to 3-0.

With 22:26 remaining in the half, Quinn, off another assist from Horton, completed his hat trick to increase the lead to 4-0.

The goals kept coming for the Wildcats as Miller scored with 17:06 left in the first half, and senior Mason Hughey capped the first-half barrage six minutes later to make it 6-0.

Miller finished off his first career hat trick five minutes into the second half to push the lead to 7-0, and Hughey tallied the game’s final goal 40 seconds later.

Athens had a 16-1 advantage in shots-on-goal, while Galeton had a 1-0 edge in corner kicks.

Athens, now 3-3, hosts Wellsboro Tuesday.

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ATHENS FALLS, 2-0, AT HORSEHEADS

ATHENS FALLS, 2-0, AT HORSEHEADS

September 11, 2021 Tim Birney

HORSEHEADS — Horseheads scored about eight minutes into the game, and made it stand, topping Athens, 2-0, here Saturday night in non-league boys soccer action at the school’s new multi-sport stadium.

Trevor Howard, off a feed from  from Jimmy Haberstoh, found the back of net from a little less than 10 yards out to give Horseheads a quick 1-0 lead.

After more than 53 minutes of scoreless action, the Blue Raiders believed they had added an insurance goal with 18:59 remaining in the game. Athens keeper Levi Kuhn attempted to make a diving grab of a free kick, but the ball squirted loose, and Connor Benitez was there to punch it into the net.

The official closest to the play quickly waived the goal off, keeping it a one-goal game.

Horseheads kept the pressure on in the later stages of the game, and Haberstoh tacked on an unassisted goal with 4:45 remaining to provide the final margin.

Horseheads had an 8-3 advantage in shots-on-goal. Both teams attempted two direct kids.

Kuhns had six saves in net for the Wildcats, while Carson Smith had three for the Blue Raiders.

Athens, now 2-3, returns to action Tuesday at Troy.

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MIDD-WEST BLANKS ATHENS, 7-0

MIDD-WEST BLANKS ATHENS, 7-0

September 8, 2021 Tim Birney

MIDDLEBURG, Pa. — Midd-West scored twice in the first 4 1/2 minutes of the game, and cruised to a 7-0 win over Athens here Wednesday night in non-league boys soccer action.

Athens coach Jake Lezak had little to say following the loss.

“We were sloppy and made mistakes all over the field,” he said. “Simply put, it’s not good enough from us.”

Kynn Loss scored about 3 1/2 into the game, and again 55 seconds later to give Midd-West a quick 2-0 lead.

About 10 minutes into the game, Nolan Stahl scored to make it 3-0. Owen Solomon, who assisted on Loss’s first goal, was credited with his second assist.

Nick Eppley, who assisted on Loss’s second goal, scored an unassisted goal with 20:26 remaining in the first half.

Eppley scored two more goals in the second half to complete his hat trick, and Evan Leitzel finished off the scoring in the 55th minute.

MIdd-West had a 17-3 advantage in shots-on-goal, and a 9-1 edge in corner kicks.

Conner Mosher had 10 saves in net for the Wildcats.

Athens, now 2-2, travels to Horseheads Saturday night.

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QUINN SCORES FOUR GOALS, HUGHEY NETS 50TH CAREER GOAL; ATHENS BLANKS TOWANDA, 11-0

QUINN SCORES FOUR GOALS, HUGHEY NETS 50TH CAREER GOAL; ATHENS BLANKS TOWANDA, 11-0

September 7, 2021 Tim Birney

ATHENS — Senior Nate Quinn scored four goals, including a first-half hat trick, and senior Mason Hughey added three scores, including his 50th career goal, to lead Athens in an 11-0 whitewashing of Towanda here Tuesday afternoon in NTL boys soccer action at Alumni Stadium.

After more than 14 minutes of scoreless action, the Wildcats scored four goals in less than 5 1/2 minutes.

Hughey started off the scoring with an unassisted goal with 25:44 remaining in the first half. Just 89 seconds later, junior Tucker Brown slid a pass from the end line into the center of the box, and Quinn punched it past the Towanda keeper to make it 2-0.

After another 89 seconds, Quinn scored an unassisted goal to make it 3-0, He capped the run with another unaided goal with 20:20 left in the first half.

Freshman Mitchell Hamilton scored his first varsity goal with 7:47 remaining in the first half, driving a shot from 30 yards out just under the cross bar to make it 5-0, which is where the score stood at the intermission.

The Wildcats scored five more goals in the first 9 1/2 minutes of the second half to stretch its lead to 10-0.

Hughey scored the first goal, off a feed from Quinn, about 2 1/2 minutes after the intermission, then Quinn — off an assist from sophomore Korey Miller, made it 7-0 just 55 seconds later.

About two minutes, Hughey scored his milestone goal, off a feed from Miller to extend the lead to 8-0 with 34:27 remaining in the contest.

Senior Daniel Horton, who looped a shot over the keeper’s hands from about 35 yards out, and junior Brayden Post each scored goals in the next four minutes to give the Wildcats a 10-0 lead.

Freshman Isaac Wilcox notched his first career goal with 7:06 remaining to cap the scoring.

Athens outshot Towanda, 28-2, and had a 7-0 advantage in corner kicks.

Athens, now 2-1, returns to action Wednesday at Midd-West.

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ATHENS FALLS IN TITLE GAME AT MONTOURSVILLE TOURNAMENT

ATHENS FALLS IN TITLE GAME AT MONTOURSVILLE TOURNAMENT

September 4, 2021 Tim Birney

MONTOURSVILLE — Athens rallied for a 3-2 win over Montoursville in its season-opener, but couldn’t quite duplicate the feat later in day in a 4-2 loss to Danville in the championship game of the Montoursville Tournament here Saturday in boys soccer action.

“Overall, it was a decent day,” said Lezak. “It showed us exactly what we needed to see, and exactly what we need to work on.”

Semifinals
Athens 3, Montoursville 2

Athens scored three second-half goals to rally for a 3-2 win over Montoursville in the opening game of the tournament.

Dino Pulizzi scored in the 21st minute, and again in the 35th minutes to give the Warriors a 2-0 lead at the half.

Junior Brayden Post put Athens on the board five minutes into the second half to trim the deficit to 2-1.

Sophomore Korey Miller scored his first varsity goal, off an assist from senior Mason Hughey, with 5:53 remaining to tie the match at 2-2.

Just 75 seconds later, senior Nate Quinn, off a feed from Miller, netted the goaded goal.

“We changed up our line-up at half, and came back to get the win,” said Lezak.

Athens had a 7-6 edge in shots-on-goal. Both teams had three corner kicks.

Championship Game
Danville 4, Athens 2

Athens again rallied from a two-goal deficit to tie the game, but Danville scored two more goals late in the game for a 4-2 win in the championship game.

The Ironmen scored midway through the first half, and again with 9:50 remaining to take a 2-0 lead.

Senior Daniel Horton put the Wildcats on the board with an unassisted goal with 6:22 left in the first half.

With just 44 seconds remaining before the intermission, Quinn, off an assist from junior Tucker Brown, found the back of the net to tie the game at 2-2.

Danville scored with 13 1/2 minutes left in the contest, and again 10 minutes later to ice the win.

“Danville’s last two goals were just sloppy play on our part,” said Lezak.

Danville had an 8-6 edge in shots-on-goal, and a 7-0 advantage in corner kicks.

The Wildcats, now 1-1, host Towanda Tuesday, then travel to Midd-West Wednesday, and Horseheads Saturday.

“We have a tough week ahead of us, so we need to get some rest and get back to training Monday,” noted Lezak

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