BROCKWAY — The Brockway boys soccer team enjoyed Senior Night in a big way on Tuesday evening with an 8-1 win over Ridgway at Frank Varischetti Field.
The Rovers took a 3-0 lead into halftime before exploding for five second half goals, all of them within the first 17 minutes, as they coasted to the win for their final home game.
Brockway will play one more regular season contest on Thursday as they visit Elk County Catholic before starting the postseason next week.
“We just told them to come out and practice and get ready for playoffs,” said Brockway coach Rich Esposito. “Play this like a playoff game, look sharp, and we did. We were without a couple starters tonight with sickness and injury, but everyone is going through that this time of year. They looked good the first half, and they had real good passes and real good runs.
“Once they finally broke onto the scoreboard, things just kind of opened up for us. Then the second half, we made a couple adjustments, ran a different offense, and they put a pile of goals up in the second half, which was good. And they spread the scoring out, which is always nice to see going into the playoffs.”
Rover seniors Anthony Esposito, Angelo Inzana, Devin Velez, Nathan Long, Carter Adams and Austin Moore were honored for their efforts to the Brockway soccer program after the game.
“These Senior Days just keep coming and going and it’s another special group,” said Esposito. “There’s a lot of kids here that are four-year players. They have a lot of games under their belt. I know they’re hungry to start next week.
“This is a group that has been in the final the last two years and they got shut out both times. I think they have something to play for this year. It’s a great group there, and they’re fun to coach.”
The Rovers got off to a big advantage in the shot column just in the first 10 minutes, but still had nothing to show for it on the scoreboard.
Finally at 11:56, Zane Puhala put the first goal of the day on the board for Brockway. Puhala dribbled the ball from the right side of the field over to the middle and blasted a shot from close range past the Ridgway keeper.
Later in the half, Ridgway was called for a foul in the goal box at 23:57. Hunter Allenbaugh took the penalty kick and drilled it to the left side of the goal, giving the Rovers a 2-0 lead.
Adams picked up a goal on his final home game about 10 minutes later at 33:14, giving the Rovers a 3-0 lead which stuck until halftime.
Brockway peppered the Ridgway goal 20 times in the first half, holding a 20-3 advantage in the shot count.
The Rovers picked up right from where they left off in the second half with Inzana getting the first goal of the second half. The Elker keeper got a hand on the ball, but didn’t get enough of it as the ball skipped over the goal line at 42:07.
Just over four minutes later, Puhala put in his second goal of the day before Allenbaugh joined the fun again.
Allenbaugh scored the next two goals, at 49:21 and 52:04, giving him a hat trick for the day. His third goal put a running clock into effect as Brockway took a 7-0 lead.
Linkin Nichols ended the scoring for Brockway with a score at 56:20, giving the Rovers an 8-0 lead.
Ridgway had a couple chances a few minutes after the Nichols goal, but couldn’t capitalize until the last two minutes of the game as Joel Tutton put in the lone score of the game for the Elkers.
The Rover seniors came off the field together with about five minutes to play in the game.
Ridgway keeper Logen McClain was also subbed and went to play the field in the second half. McClain made 15 saves on the day.
Brockway keepers Moore and Lewis Painter combined for 11 saves on the night.
Brockway’s game at Elk County Catholic is set for 6:30 p.m. on Thursday in Kersey.