The Loyalsock Lancers came out aggressive from the start and maybe it had to do with the fact they were playing their biggest rival in the Hughesville Spartans. One Lancer in particular had a little extra something to play for as he was only three goals away from getting his 50th goal. He did just that.
Junior Matt Hibbs netted three goals to hit the 50-goal mark for his career as the Lancers defeated Hughesville, 6-2 Tuesday night. Josiah Covert added two goals and Mark Odorizzi added the other for Loyalsock.
After Hibbs' first goal he had a feeling that he was going to get No. 50.
Josiah Covert of Loyalsock scores as Hughesville’s Cole Lesher, back left, and keeper Jesse Berger (4) defend.
"After I scored my first one, yeah I was thinking I could get it,"?said Hibbs.
Hibbs' first goal came at the 11:27 mark as he beat the Hughesville defense down the left sideline. Hibbs' second goal came at 50:48 and he used some fancy footwork to get around a Hughesville defender. And Hibbs' third goal of the night and 50th of his career came at 58:11. It was his easiest goal of the night, as he got out on a breakaway and had a one-on-one matchup with keeper Jesse Berger. It was practically a penalty kick for Hibbs. After Hibbs' third goal, he was taken out and received a much-deserved rest and standing ovation.
According to Loyalsock coach Andrew Zimmerman, Covert and Hibbs spend a lot of time in the offseason together and working on their game. That hard work is paying off now.
"They play soccer all year around," said Zimmerman. "They've been playing with each other their whole lives so I don't expect anything less from those two. Those guys are a huge part of this team."
Matt Cardillo and the rest of the Loyalsock defense also played well, getting in front of shots and trying to make it easy on keeper Ryan Loeh, who stopped five shots in the win.
Zimmerman believes Loyalsock's tough schedule has prepared them for games like this.
"Our non-conference games were against Williamsport, East Juniata, Danville," said Zimmerman. "Things are coming together, I think playing those tough games early on is really helping us out right now."
Hughesville shouldn't be disappointed with the loss as it played hard and had some bright spots.
The Spartans are battling multiple injuries, as is Loyalsock, but they played hard the whole game. Jim Trevouledes scored both goals for Hughesville. His second goal came from the 18-yard line and he made a great move as he shielded the defender and spun around to make a great shot.
The Hughesville offense looked great at times but other times it couldn't keep possession. Many times the Spartans came within inches of scoring. A bad touch or a missed pass or a shot that was a foot over kept Hughesville from keeping the game within reach.
The defense also looked great at times. Nathan Seabridge was all over the field for the Spartans. He was possibly the best player on the field for Hughesville. He made clears, won head balls and directed the defense. He did his best to stop the Loyalsock offense, but Hibbs and Covert were too much.
L-Mark Odorizzi (Tommy Criswell), 4:34, L-Matt Hibbs, 11:27, L-Josiah Covert, 28:12, L-Covert, 46:47, L-Hibbs, 50:48, L-Hibbs, 58:11; H-Jim Trevouledes (Cole Lesher), 9:49, H-Trevouledes, 48:34.
Shots on goal: H-7; L-11. Corner kicks: H-4; L-5. Saves: H-5; L-5. Goalies: Hughesville (Jesse Berger); Loyalsock (Ryan Loeh).
Records: Loyalsock 6-3 Next game: Loyalsock at Central Columbia (Thu. at 7); Hughesville at Jersey Shore (Thu.)