Warrior Run’s Hazzoum records hat trick in win

MARK NANCE/Sun-Gazette Montoursville’s Bryce Bean (4) and Warrior Run’s Alex Hazzoum (13) battle for control of the ball in the second half at Montoursville on Thursday.

Montoursville players and coaches constantly shouted, “watch 13!” It didn’t matter if he had the ball or not, or if he was near the ball or 50 yards away. The Montoursville defense was aware of the problems and challenges Alex Hazzoum presented.

The Warriors watched Hazzoum, they just couldn’t stop him.

The sophomore midfielder recorded his second hat trick of the season and scored the game-winning goal in the 73rd minute as Warrior Run came away with a big HAC II win over rival Montoursville on Thursday evening at Memorial Stadium.

“Midfield in soccer is what makes any team go and I have a very strong midfield made up of a senior, a sophomore and a freshman and the kids I sub in are young too so hopefully that carries through for the next couple of years. Alex can do things with the ball that other kids can not,” Warrior Run coach Andy Bieber said. “It’s fun to watch. As a coach, I get on him because he holds the ball too long, but you take the good and you take the bad. He was good tonight. He was really good.”

After a foul, Hazzoum set up a free kick from about 40 yards out and while Montoursville’s defense and goalkeeper were scrambling to get set up, Hazzoum netted the game-winner for his third goal of the game and second hat trick of the season.

“I got the ball and my assistant coach, Jordan Morrison, he was just telling me to shoot the ball the entire game. At that point, I was just like whatever and had to rip it,” Hazzoum said.

His heroics were necessary for a Warrior Run (5-1) team that was missing a key player in starting and captain defensive back Alex Frederick, who was in a car accident earlier in the day and was taken to Geisinger. Details of his condition were unsure.

“We started the game slow. We had a tough day today because we found out our starting back got into a car crash today,” Hazzoum said. “We let in an early goal that kind of set us back for the rest of the game. That made it tough but we really fought back and we really wanted it.”

Montoursville’s Dominic Caputo scored 31 seconds into the game after an early Warrior Run turnover. Caputo beat two defenders and the keeper for the 1-0 advantage over a distracted Warrior Run squad, but they regrouped and found their footing.

Hazzoum answered 12 minutes later when he fired a strike into the upper-right corner from 20 yards out. The speedy midfielder drew crowds all game long with three and four defenders on him at times. Montoursville did a solid job of defending him, but Hazzoum’s ability to get shots off from any angle proved to be too much.

“My defense is awesome. I can’t say enough good things about them. (Warrior Run’s) No. 13, he just has such a quick shot,” Montoursville coach Kevin Werkmeister said. “If you give him a couple inches, he’s going to get a shot off. That’s what beat us and we just need to step up to the ball a little bit quicker.”

Montoursville took another one-goal lead when Angelo Silvagni got behind Warrior Run’s defense and received a perfect pass from Caputo to make it 2-1 in the 21st minute. Hazzoum added the game-tying goal with a shot from about the six-yard box when he received great pass from his brother, Tyrese, early in the second half.

It was another tough, close loss against a quality opponent for an injury-ravaged Montoursville team. The Warriors played a 4-1 Loyalsock team to an overtime loss on Saturday and dropped a one-goal game to Danville earlier in the season.

“We need to overcome a bunch of injuries. We have a lot of key injuries. Our varsity keeper is out for six weeks. We just need to play more of our game, get to the ball quicker and get some shots,” Werkmeister said. “The boys are coming around. They’re starting to play our game. It’s just working through the injuries.”

WR — Alex Hazzoum (UA), 12:34; Alex Hazzoum (Tyrese Hazzoum), 53:40; Alex Hazzoum (free kick), 72:16. Montoursville — Dominic Caputo (Colin Gorini), 0:31; Angelo Silvagni (Caputo), 20:12.

Shots: WR 13, M 4. Corners: WR 6, M 0. Saves: WR 2 (Keegan Jenkins); M 10 (Zach Baylor)

Records: Montoursville (1-6); Warrior Run (5-1).