CURTIS PARK – It was a matter of lessons learned Monday afternoon in Curtis Park as P-O senior striker Greg Kojadinovich scored a hat trick and senior midfielder Alex Boumerhi scored once and assisted twice before being pulled early in the second half of a strained 5-0 win over Curwensville.
Curwensville Coach Bob Shearer’s boys trapped the over-aggressive Mounties off-side a whopping 13 times in an otherwise lopsided contest that had Mountie attackers talking to themselves.
“Our guys were not using their heads,” said P-O assistant coach Tom Petro. “They were thinking about scoring goals instead of about playing right. At the half we instructed the boys that they had five minutes to play right before we were going to start pulling them off the field.”
It would be hard to argue with Kojadinovich’s first half hat-trick, though, as “KoJo,” as he is nicknamed by his teammates, roared through for goals in the 16th, 32nd and 36th minute to help run the Mounties out to a 4-0 halftime score.
“KoJo is an important player for us,” said Petro, “But he and Antonino (senior Mounties striker, Turrigiano) were tagged over and over again for off-side simply because they weren’t running the right direction. Firstly, they need to be operating on the same side of the field, working together, and secondly, one of them has to be showing back for the ball out of the midfield rather than just running for straight through balls. That kind of soccer is not going to work in the D6 playoffs where we hope to make a deep run.”
Notwithstanding the pesky Golden Tide off-side trap, the Mounties leveled 21 shots at Tide keeper Zach Kolesar in the first half and 35 overall to the Tide’s one shot on the day. Junior Mountie keeper Jay Prentice and freshman keeper Mitchell Winters combined for the clean sheet. Kolesar made nine saves on the day and the Mounties held a 9-1 edge in corner kicks.
In the second half, as Mountie substitutions continued en mass, sophomore Levi Muir scored his first regular season varsity goal in the 59th minute as senior captain Alex Boumerhi set the ball on a tee for him with an unselfish pass about 12 yards out to settle the deal at 5-0.
A nonplussed Petro suggested, however, that an interesting week of practice lay ahead for his Mounties.
“We kind of feel the style of play has to be the same regardless of the opponent and that hasn’t been the case,” said Petro. “The Curwensville trap helped remind us of that lesson.”
Curwensville drops to 0-4 on the season and doubles back to visit Brookville Tuesday in a 4 p.m. kickoff. Philipsburg-Osceola is 2-1 on the season (1-0 in the Mountain League) and hosts Clearfield Wednesday with a 4 p.m. kickoff.