Parkland scores three goals to remain undefeated
Parkland boys soccer team faced a tough challenge on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023, when they visited Northampton High School for an Eastern Pennsylvania Conference game. Both teams entered the game with a perfect 6-0-0 record, but only one of them would leave with it intact.
Parkland proved to be the stronger side, scoring three goals and holding off a late comeback attempt by Northampton to secure a 3-1 victory. The Trojans showed their offensive prowess and defensive resilience in a game that tested their mettle.
The first goal came late in the first half, when Logan Thrash headed in a cross from Bryce Peters to give Parkland a 1-0 lead with 2:14 left. Thrash said he anticipated the pass and timed his run perfectly to meet the ball.
“As soon as I saw that ball go wide, I saw Bryce coming across and I knew that he was looking back post and I had to linger in there and come in and take that first touch,” Thrash said. “Luckily, that pass was right to my head, it was the perfect pass, and I was able to slide it into the bottom corner.”
Parkland did not waste any time in the second half, doubling their lead just over a minute after the restart. Josh Daniels found Trevor Grice, who slotted the ball past Northampton goalie Ethan Schrampf for a 2-0 lead. Daniels then set up Kyle Tobia for Parkland’s third goal in the 50th minute, giving the Trojans a comfortable cushion.
Northampton fights back but falls short
Northampton did not give up easily, despite being down by three goals. The Konkrete Kids kept pushing forward and created some chances, but Parkland goalkeeper Zach Ironside was up to the task.
Northampton finally broke through in the 66th minute, when they were awarded a penalty kick after a foul in the box. Jackson Vajda calmly converted the spot kick, cutting the deficit to 3-1. Northampton coach Chris Bastidas said he felt optimistic after the goal.
“Once we get a goal, we can start usually generating, so we knew we had a chance immediately at that point,” Bastidas said.
However, Parkland’s defense held firm and did not allow any more goals. The Trojans celebrated their seventh win of the season and their first over a top-tier opponent.
Parkland coach praises his team’s performance
Parkland coach Patrick Birns was proud of his team’s performance and said they showed their quality against a tough opponent.
“We know Northampton was undefeated and so were we and we want to be regular-season champs and prove that we are a really good team,” Birns said. “We respect them a lot, but I think that beating them gives us a lot of confidence going forward because we have other teams that we respect a lot like Emmaus coming up on the schedule. This gives us that extra boost.”
Birns also praised his players for their teamwork and chemistry, saying they have been working hard since the preseason to improve their game.
“We have a lot of guys who can score goals and create chances, but we also have a lot of guys who can defend and work hard for each other,” Birns said. “We have a good balance and a good camaraderie on this team. They are all friends off the field and they play well together on the field.”
Parkland will look to extend their winning streak when they host Easton on Friday, Sept. 15, 2023. Northampton will try to bounce back when they visit Whitehall on the same day.