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Short-handed Blue Devils fall to Vikes

Riverside’s 3-2 victory is first in program’s history

Old Forge’s Jimmy Aversa battles with Riverside’s Carl Pugliese for possession of the ball.

photo by jessica kovalcin

Above, Old Forge’s Bobby Cipollina tries to hold off Riverside’s Cody Mackin during the Blue Devils loss to the Vikes on Monday at Veterans Memorial Stadium. Below left, Old Forge’s Christian Mozeleski fights for position with a Riverside player. Below right, Old Forge’s J Argonish tries to stay in bounds as Riverside’s Bradley mcNamara defends.

photos by jessica kovalcin

Riverside dealt Old Forge a tough loss 3-2 on Monday in Lackawanna Soccer League Division 3 action at Veterans Memorial Stadium as the Blue Devils played the first half without three of its top players. The victory by the Vikings was the team’s first over Old Forge – and its first LSL win ever.

Missing senior captains J Argonish, Adam Barsigian and Ian Nemetz for the entire first half – the trio were at a previously scheduled Blue Devils golf match - junior Matt Mancuso was able to help hold things together for Old Forge (1-2) as they went into the half down 1-0 on a Marc Lucas unassisted goal with less than eight minutes left. Mancuso himself left immediately after the match to go kick for the football team who was playing in Wilkes-Barre.

"Mancuso is going to be the key to our season this year, he is going to be the guy to step up and he is going to make or break the season for us," said Head Coach John Argonish. "He’s a tremendous player... he does everything we ask him to do, he’s a tremendous attribute to our team."

When the threesome, Old Forge seemed to gain some confidence and a little bit of swagger as they came out and tied the game less than three minutes into the half when Mancuso’s corner kick was put into the back of the net by Bobby Cipollina.

However, Riverside answered right back at the 47:52 mark to take a 2-1 lead off of a big throw in that was touched into the left side of the net by Jaron Vishnesky.

Old Forge nearly tied the game with less than 22 minutes left when Nemetz got his head on a Mancuso corner and forced a defender to make the save off of the goal line.

Then less than two minutes later, Mancuso played a tight fit through ball to Argonish who one-touched the ball on goal forcing a diving save from the Vikings keeper.

With 15 minutes left, Cody Mackin took a through ball for Riverside and was one-on-one with Old Forge keeper Corey Washington. The Vikings striker tried to place the ball around Washington, forcing him to make a sliding kick-save to keep the Blue Devils within one goal.

Four minutes later, Mancuso took a pass from Argonish and drilled the potential game tying goal off of the crossbar.

Riverside shocked Old Forge - who was controlling the ball and maintaining their attack - when Mackin took the ball and bent it perfectly around Washington to push its lead to 3-1 with 5:42 left in the game.

Two minutes later Mancuso found Argonish again, however this time the returning LSL-3 all-star was able to find the back of the net after fighting his way through two defenders cutting the lead to 3-2.

However, Riverside was able to stymie the Blue Devils offense for the final three minutes and hold on for the win.

"I’m real happy with the way we worked the ball," said Argonish. "The last two games we’ve out shot our opponents, we’ve won more corners, we’ve won more balls, we’ve won more balls in the midfield, it’s just the game of soccer and we came up a little short today."

OF 3, Forest City 8

A shell-shocked Old Forge team surrendered six goals in the first 40 minutes in a 8-3 loss to Forest City on Tuesday afternoon at the Billy Long Sports Complex in Old Forge.

The Foresters scored four goals during a five-minute stretch in the middle of the first half to put the game away.

The Blue Devils finally got on the board in the 11th minute of the second half when J Argonish scored on a nice feed from Matt Mancuso to cut the Forest City lead to 7-1. Four minutes later, Argonish scored an unassisted goal to get Old Forge (1-2) within 7-2.

But the Foresters added another goal before Ian Nemetz scored on an assist from Mancuso at the 57:36 mark of the game.

Corey Washington stopped 15 shots in goal for the Blue Devils.

PA 4, Berwick 3

Jordan Consagra got Pittston Area on the board early but it was his second goal which gave the Patriots a 4-3 win over Berwick in the team’s Wyoming Valley Conference opener on Wednesday afternoon in Columbia County.

Consagra scored unassisted at the 19:04 mark of the first half, and in the final minute on a pass from Eric Fino to give Pittston Area the victory.

In between, the Patriots got an unassisted goal from Pietro Colella at the 65:07 mark of the game to break a 1-1 tie and an unassisted goal from Ian Tracy at the 77:06 mark to tie the game at 3-3.

Zach Mikitish made three stops in goal for PA as the Patriots out shot the Bulldogs, 15-7.

Dispatch Staff Writer Rick Notari contributed to this report.

Standings

WVC Division 2

Holy Redeemer…3-0

Lake-Lehman…3-0

Pittston Area…1-0

Tunkhannock…2-1

Meyers…2-1

Wyoming Sem…0-0

WVC Division 3

Hanover Area…2-2

Berwick…1-2

MMI Prep…1-2

Wyoming Area…0-1

Nanticoke…0-3

GAR…0-3

LSL Division 3

Lakeland…4-0

Forest City…2-0

Carbondale…2-2

Mid Valley…1-1

Old Forge…1-2

Dunmore…1-2

Blue Ridge…0-2-1

Riverside…1-3-1

Points

J Argonish, OF…10

Matt Mancuso, OF…6

Nate Brague, WA…4

Jordan Consagra, PA…4

Goals

J Argonish, OF…5

Nate Brague, WA…2

Jordan Consagra, PA…2

Bob Cipollina, OF…1

Pietro Colella, PA…1

Matt Mancuso, OF…1

Ian Nemetz, OF…1

Ian Tracy, PA…1

Assists

Matt Mancuso, OF…4

Eric Fino, PA…1

Mike Kohut, WA…1

Sean O’Malley, WA…1

Saves

Corey Washington, OF…32

Aaron Carter, WA…16

Zach Mikitish, PA…3

This week’s schedule

Monday

PA at Coughlin

WA at GAR

OF at Lakeland, 6

Tuesday

WA at Berwick

OF v. Blue Ridge

Thursday

WA at MMI Prep

Wednesday

PA at Hazleton

Friday

PA v. Dallas

OF v. Carbondale

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