Saints crossed the border into Ohio to compete in the annual Lakeland Tournament this weekend, looking continue their winning streak and claim their first trophy of the 2014 season.
In the first game, the Saints battle Hiram.
The saints asserted themselves on Hiram early in the game, with Devin Mason (Girard) leading the saints' forward line alongside Matt Schenberg (Saegertown) against an experience Hiram defense.
In a competitive 1st half the saints threatened repeatedly, as the pace of Mason terrorized the Hiram backline. Both Mason and Hoffman (Mercer) had chances saved by the 'keeper, Hoffman going closest by hitting the goalpost with a powerful effort.
The breakthrough came as Hoffman sped down the down the left like a bullet, enticing a reckless defensive tackle in the 18yard box to earn a penalty kick for the saints. Current top scorer and team captain Michael Lennox dispatched the penalty kick accordingly. 1-0.
The second goal came shortly after the restart, again from good work from Hoffman to earn a free kick in a dangerous area. Up stepped Lennox again to fire home from about the 20 yard mark into the top right corner. 2-0.
Chances fell to both Schenberg and Desnerck (Northwestern) to seal the game, but good goalkeeping and the woodwork stopped the saints from adding to their tally. The 3rd goal arrived through stellar work from Schenberg, playing Hoffman in to round the keeper and finish into the empty net. 3-0
Chances came and went in the last 10 minutes with Vucen (Springfield) hitting the crossbar in the dying minutes. Craig Martin in goal for the saints made 4 saves in the contest, the saints progress to the final to play home team Lakeland CC in Sundays final.
Saints return to Lakeland CC for the final against the host college having beaten Hiram JV in the semifinal.
The saints started like men possessed making a couple of changes following the tough contest against Hiram JV less than 24 hours prior. Chase Hoffman (mercer) returned to the starting line up and took less than 3 minute to introduce himself back to the action. Released down the left by Shousher (Clay), Hoffman broke into the penalty area to be scythed down by the covering Lakeland defender. Skipper Michael Lennox made no mistake from the spot to score his 6th goal of the 2014 campaign.
Saints 1-0 Lakeland
The goal seemed to stir the home side as Lakeland began to threaten the saints backline, though found defensive duo Eric Kennedy (Springfield) and Nate Angelo (Harborcreek) in top form over the weekend. Despite a good amount of possession the lakers failed to test freshman goalkeeper Craig Martin, testament to focused backline including Lucas Smith making his full debut (Saegertown).
The saints extended their lead through 2013 top scorer (9) Dean Shousher, coolly chipping the onrushing keeper in the 35th minute.
HT Saints 2-0 Lakeland.
The 2ndhalf started with the saints on the front foot, Aguirre (Central Tech) and MacDonald (Harborcreek) working tireless in the heart of saints midfield. The third goal seemed only a matter time as the lakers resorted to gamesmanship to halt wave after wave of saint attack.
After a foul was committed around 30 yards from the lakers goal, saints skipper Lennox struck a powerful shot only to be spilled by the lakers GK. Defender Eric Kennedy was on hand to finish from close range and claim his second of the year. 3-0.
The saints held firm to claim back to back 3-0 wins and 2 shut outs over the weekend.