NEW BETHLEHEM – Ty Scott loves soccer.
He used to have a girlfriend. Now she’s his fiance.
The Redbank Valley Bulldogs soccer coach, who helped organize an alumni game Sunday afternoon at the high school, decided that was the perfect time to spring the question to MacKenzie Pence.
Both played in high school, Scott a 2011 graduate while Pence played for the Lady Bulldogs, graduating in 2016. She’s coaching junior high soccer and softball at Brockway where she’s a seventh-grade english teacher.
“I came up with this idea last year and I know we’ve always tried to get old players back to play on Labor Day weekend or something and when I started helping coach as an assistant, I helped organize something and everyone was asking when this year’s game would be,” said Scott, in his first year as head coach. “I figured I could do it right there. I’ve always had that idea of [proposing] in soccer because we both played, her brothers played and she coaches now in Brockway.”
Their circle of friends were also involved in soccer, so that was an added incentive for a very friendly audience as over 40 former players, men and women, showed up to play in what turned out to be three 45-minute periods.
“That was always the plan because I knew a bunch of my friends and girls she played with would be there, plus the players I played with and their parents are asking when my games are, so they can come watch and re-live their glory days, so that’s why I wanted to do that,” Scott said.
The moment came in the second period as Scott got help from one of his current players and game official, Tyson Adams.
“We did it in the second because I wanted everything to go according to plan and then I told Tyson about it,” Scott said. “He came out with my stuff, I switched from my rec specs to glasses and then we stopped the clock and went over and asked her.”
“We were as shocked as anybody,” Lady Bulldogs head coach and former player Mike Dawson added. “Not many people were privy to it and then you see him sprint down the field and it kind of happened. It was pretty cool to see.”
She said yes, of course. When the game resumed, both wound up scoring goals after the big moment.
“Mine was right after that on Owen Magagnotti,” Scott said, referring to last year’s graduated all-conference goalkeeper. “That was my second goal of the day, to score on Mags.”
Not long after that, Pence scored on a header.
No wedding date has been set.
“She was working on that Sunday when we got home, so we don’t know yet,” Scott said.
While the alumni game served a great personal purpose for Scott, he and Dawson were both happy with the turnout. Graduates of all ages were able to come together and both hoped that current players were able to connect with the past.
“When everyone showed up, it was pouring rain, but about 10 minutes later everything cleared up,” Scott said. “It was still muddy, but I think everyone had fun, that they got to play again. Someone on my sideline said it’s like we are still making the same mistakes 10 years after at least and I’m sure with a lot less conditioning.”
The amount of players led to adding enough playing time to get everyone enough run on the field.
“We ended up playing that much because we saw the turnout number and it worked out perfect,” said Dawson.