HONESDALE, PA — It was a game of the second half; all the scoring went into the record books during the final frame of the boys’ varsity soccer match between the home team Hornets of …
HONESDALE, PA — It was a game of the second half; all the scoring went into the record books during the final frame of the boys’ varsity soccer match between the home team Hornets of Honesdale High and the visiting High Knights of Scranton High School.
The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) Lackawanna League Division II match was played at the Daniel J. O’Neill Sports Complex on Monday, September 21.
For the home team, it was a nice way to start the season, and before the booters stepped onto the field of play, the Hornets seniors were joined on the field by their parents in celebration of “Senior Sport Night Recognition.”
In the wake of a scoreless opening half, the Hornets posted three back-to-back goals: Bobby Kretschmer on a volley off wingman Liam Kase (37:31), Drew Howell assisted by a header from Liam Kase (26:10) and a PK by Peter Kase (22:01).
In adding a bit of color to the first goal, Honesdale’s coach Wendell Ka said “Kase took a beautiful shot, clipped the top of the crossbar. It rebounded back to Bobby, who made a very difficult shot—a bang-bang reaction play.” Of the penalty kick by Peter Kase, he called his booter “one on the finest players around.”
Of his goalie Nate Hugaboom, a sophomore who was pressed in service last year due to injuries, Kay said, “He acquitted himself very forcefully... He’s a general back there.”
The Knights scored at the 61-minute mark (19:00) as Liam Moran beat the home team keeper on a long ball from Sebastian Camona.
No game report would be complete without a few stats: shots on goal (HHS 16, SHS 13), keeper saves (HHS’s Nate Hugaboom 10, SHS’s Fedi Ahmetbeg 3), corner kicks (HHS 5, SHS 12).
Shamus McCormick is returning as head coach at the helm of the Knights booters.
His take on their third game of the new season?
“They got us out of our comfort zone; we made a lot of mental mistakes, and we came in a little over confident,” he replied.
McCormick added that, while his squad lost a lot of seniors due to graduation last year, “We’re a senior heavy team this year” a good number of his players “just started playing soccer in the last year or two.” But, even with coming into the sport with what he called “a lot of athleticism... They are lacking in some of the skills that multi-year players possess.”
Wendell Kay is Honesdale High’s new boys’ varsity soccer coach, taking over this year from veteran helmsman Shawn Knash, but he’s been around the field for a few years as he served for many seasons as an assistant coach.
He was hired to take over in January, but due to the pandemic, Kay really didn’t start until 10 weeks ago, around the first week in July when team activities started to resume at the local high school.
“We have excellent senior leadership on our team,” said Kay. “Many were starters last year, and a lot of credit goes toKnash. A lot of these guys were dropped into our laps fully formed and ready to go…we have to find a way to mold them together so everyone is really doing their part.”
Noting that the boys’ varsity soccer team “hasn’t played a meaningful game in over a year since last October” due to COVID-19, he said of Monday’s 3 to 1 victory, “Our defense really stepped up today. We gave up a lot of corners, but we kept the ball in front of us and kept our composure... It took us a good 40 minutes to get settled in.”
Goals for this season?
“We want to improve on last year’s record, make the playoffs and advance to the first round,” replied Kay, noting that last season’s posting was a team record of 5 to 9.
When not coaching soccer, Kay, an attorney-at-law for four decades, and former county councilman for 12 years, serves as the county solicitor.
“I explain to the boys that, in my coaching experience and watching tons of soccer games, that, on game day, if they think they are going to win that game, or lose, either way, you’ll probably turn out to be right. A lot of it is their attitude... their desire and perception of things,” he said.
In concluding our post-game interview, Coach Kay shared a quote by Mark Twain, “It’s much easier to stay out of trouble than it is to get out of trouble... that’s as true in soccer as in life.”