HONESDALE — Donning their purple road jerseys, all four Paupack soccer squads made the short trek to Honesdale for their last regular season match-up against the hosting Hornets on Monday.
As it was Senior Night for the Hornets, the season finale for both teams, and in close proximity to both schools, the stadium was packed for the four-game spectacle.
Setting the Stage
Starting things off for the evening was the junior varsity girls game, which ended in a 1-1 tie.
Rachel Spewak claiming the lone goal for the Lady Bucks.
Up next, the JV boys faced off.
Spencer Cichinsky and Shawn McLain snatched up a goal each giving the Buckhorns a 2-1 victory.
Game Three saw the varsity girls clash in phenomenal fashion.
Looking to cap off the season with another big win, and with hot-shot forward Hope Decker scratched with an injury, the Lady Bucks wasted no time hitting the net less than three minutes into the match.
Co-Captain Tori Ciszak tallied off a pass from fellow Junior Nicki Mann and Paupack never looked back.
Mann would waste no time getting her own goal just four minutes later with a little help from her sister, sophomore Bridgette.
Paupack was nowhere near finished yet. Just six minutes later, freshman Skylar Wirth would score off an assist from Ciszak. Then, before the end of the first half, Ciszak and Mann would combine again, making it 4-0.
Things took awhile to get started in the second half. Honesdale seemed to gain some pep and kept the ball in the Paupack zone, getting in a few shots on Gabby Weaver, who held the Hornets at bay long enough for the Mann sisters to repeat their first half goal, putting the Buckhorns up 5-0.
Honesdale would rally with a goal by Ashley Hicks with 17:44 left in the game, and then Hicks would sting again with 1:46 left.
It appeared that the Lady Bucks wouldn't be able to answer back, but a very determined Bridgette Mann grabbed a pass from Ciszak and finally got her goal for the night and putting the Lady Hornets to bed: 6-2.
Post-game, the scorers all shared in the enthusiasm of the win; however Bridgette Mann seemed displeased with her own performance.
"I tried all night to score," she stated. "But, they put up such good defense. It wasn't easy."
Over & Out
Finally, it was the varsity boys' turn.
The 8 p.m. kick-off ensured excitement would continue long into the evening.
Trying to muster at least one win for the night, the Hornets weren't going down without a big fight, but the Buckhorns were psyched and felt they could outdo their last match-up against the Hornets, which ended in a 2-1 win for Paupack.
Page 2 of 2 - While the Buckhorns controlled the plays for the better part of the period, action went back-and-forth for much of the half. Finally, freshman Casey Weis nabbed a pass from Junior Shayne McCormack at 21:31 and shot it past Hornet Keeper Cole Stengal, putting the Bucks up 1-0.
The lead would not last long. Unassisted, Honesdale's Noah Pietraszewski scored at 14:25, tying the match and putting a damper on the Buckhorns' spirit.
The halftime pep-talk must have sparked something deep down in the Bucks.
Just 1:17, Weis passed to senior co-captain Shane Conners who landed a 40-yard shot into the Honesdale net, putting the Buckhorns back on top.
Keeper Thomas McLain stayed busy in the net for Paupack as the Hornets kept up the pressure.
Adding some insurance to the lead, junior Joey Budnovitch bounced in a header off a pass from classmate Dan Skibber, taking the score to 3-1.
Things would heat up one more time as Honesdale would get one more opportunity with just four minutes left: a penalty kick that McLain would stop cold, thus sealing the win over the Hornets and capping off a fantastic night of soccer for the Buckhorns.
Coach Scott Bonagura commented post-game: "We had an awesome night. Both the JV and varsity teams (Wallenpaupack) played exceptionally well.
"Honesdale has a good team and we always enjoy playing against them. This year both teams were well matched, so it made for good games when we faced each other."