NEPA Sports Nation

Carmona MVP in UNICO boys win

By Tom Robinson,

SCRANTON – Scranton had just one player in the 20th annual UNICO Scranton Soccer Cup, but Sebastian Carmona made sure the Knights were well-represented.

Carmona fueled a fast start and his White team held off the Green for a 5-4 victory in the boys game that completed the doubleheader for senior all-stars from Lackawanna League teams Sunday afternoon at Riverfront Sports.

After assisting the game’s first goal, Carmona put the White ahead to stay with goals 1:27 apart for a 3-1 lead 11:22 before halftime.

“I’m glad because I came here to represent not only my school, but my friends that unfortunately weren’t selected,” Carmona said after being chosen as the game’s Most Valuable Player. “I wish they could be with me one last time, but it just wasn’t that way.”

Carmona’s pass set up Jayden Patel from Abington Heights to hit an open shot from about 15 yards out to open the scoring just 7:18 into the game.

Lakeland midfielder Chase Flynn blocked a clearing attempt by the White defense and fired in a shot from about 12 yards. The first of his two goals lifted Green into a 1-1 tie with 27:12 left in the half.

Carmona scored on consecutive shots, converting goals that were assisted by players from the Holy Cross team that reached the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association state Class A boys quarterfinals.

Andrew Smith’s shot was stopped, but it created a loose rebound and, in the scramble that ensued, Carmona got to the ball in front for a goal.

Camona took off on a run down the middle and Ron Prislupski found him in stride. Carmona got off a quick shot for the 3-1 lead.

Smith and Prislupski were two of the players Carmona has played with at times through the years, helping made the all-star game more comfortable.

“As a striker, I always try to look for open space,” Carmona said. “It was kind of hard because I never played with some of these guys, but some I played with all my life. I probably had about five players that I trusted and played with my whole life so that kind of made it easier.

“I’ve been playing soccer for so long that it kind of came naturally.”

Carmona’s goals held up through halftime, then White built a pair of three-goal leads before Green finished strong.

Josh Mease from Holy Cross played goalie in the first half and made two saves, including one from point-blank range with three minutes left to preserve the 3-1 lead.

Mease moved to the field for the second half and scored 4:15 in.

Tyler Pepsin from Old Forge scored for Green, but Smith’s header from in front gave White a 5-2 lead with 22:05 remaining.

White led 30-14 in shots and 5-2 in corner kicks for the game. The shot advantage was 26-5 until Green took 9 of the 13 shots in the final 16 minutes.

Two of those late shots produced goals.

Valley View’s Luke Kotchko made a run up the left side and sent a shot in off the far post with 9:45 left.

Lakeland’s Matt Hunsinger and Mountain View’s Hunter Kozlowski made two quick passes to set up a shot from 15 yards out for Flynn’s second goal 2:19 later.

Green had three shots at the tie in the final four minutes, but two went over the top and Western Wayne’s Alex Chapman made a save to prevent a Flynn hat trick.

Graig Arcurie from North Pocono coached the winning White team.

Holy Cross had the most players in the game with Jacque Kakareka and Aidan Krieger joining Smith, Prislupski and Mease.

Mitchell DeStefano, Evan Layland and Peter Sica represented Arcurie’s North Pocono team.

Players from Abington Heights, Western Wayne, Riverside, Wallenpaupack, Scranton Prep, Blue Ridge, Scranton and Delaware Valley completed the roster.

The team included Patel and Jack Cowgill from Abington Heights, Chapman and Dustin Ferraro from Western Wayne, Gary Mrozinski and Blake Zuby from Riverside, Chase Gramling and Cole Struck from Wallenpaupack, Raymond Rinaldi and Justin Delgado from Scranton Prep, Nick Ross and Nick Pallman from Blue Ridge, Carmona from Scranton and Tyler Cottone from Delaware Valley.

Dunmore’s Tom Clark coached the Green team, which had his players, plus those from Lakeland, Old Forge, West Scranton, Mountain View, Valley View and Honesdale.

Maynor Castro-Lemus, Quinn Davis, Carmen DeNapoli and Brian Santarsiero gave Dunmore four players in the game.

Flynn and Hunsinger were joined by Lakeland teammate Ryan Lidy, who went the distance in goal and finished with 10 saves.

Pepsin, Ryan Kisselovege and Cole Hannon represented Old Forge.

The rest of the team was Joel Castro and Emmanuel Ramirez from West Scranton, Kozloski and Owen Cameron from Mountain View, Kotcho and Bryce Sokoloski from Valley View and Braden McLaughlin from Honesdale.

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