Dunmore, Pa. - The Nittany Lion offense had a slow start on Thursday against Penn State Worthington Scranton, but got into a nice offensive groove midway through the opening half, leading to a slew of goals from their strikers. Two Hazleton forwards combined for the team's five goals as the Lions advanced past their opponent by a score of 5-1 for their fourth consecutive victory.
Fifteen minutes into the first half, Hazleton found their first burst of offense as sophomore Ben Pasukinis (Benton, Pa.) found junior Kyle Venditti for the opening goal and the start of a fine day for the duo. Venditti returned the favor ten minutes later as he served a ball in the box to Pasukinis to give Hazleton a 2-0 advantage. In the 36 minute Venditti would once again find pay-dirt, this time from freshman teammate Zach Klinger (Berwick, Pa.) giving the Lions a 3-0 lead going into halftime. "We moved the ball well and our communication was on point", Venditti remarked following the game.
Worthington Scranton's James Cole cut the Lion's lead to two with a goal to open the second half, but the Hazleton forwards were able to reapply the offensive pressure and secure the match. Freshman Tyler Wyllie (Benton, Pa.) found Venditti's hot foot in the 70th minute to give him the hat trick and erase the Scranton score and then capped his fine day with an assist to Pasukinis. Pasukinis received the ball from his teammate past the Scranton defenders and beat the goalkeeper for his second score. The 5-1 advantage earned Hazleton keeper Jimmy Fisher some much needed rest as freshman Julianne Ernest (Danville, Pa.) took the helm of the defense, her first action in the net this season.
Next up: The win gives the Lions a 4-1 overall record and an unblemished 3-0 record in the Penn State University Athletic Conference. Hazleton returns to action on Sunday, Sept. 20 when they face off with conference opponent Penn State Beaver at 1:00 p.m.