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O'Reilly Claims AA Crown - October 31, 1996
(That's Matt leaping on the right)
O'Reilly claims AA crown
By MANDY CASTELLINO Times Leader Sports Correspondent
KINGSTON -- It only took one goal by Matt Koch.
That and a strong defensive effort was all Bishop O'Reilly needed.
Koch scored midway through the second quarter and Bishop O'Reilly held on for a 1-0 win over Meyers in the District 2 Class AA championship game Thursday at Spartan Stadium.
The O'Reilly defense did the rest, shutting down Moses Ngolo and the rest of Meyers' offense. Ngolo was one of the Wyoming Valley Conference's leading scoring threats and Meyers' top scorer.
"I thought our defense played really tough," O'Reilly coach Tom Wignot said. "To be honest, I didn't think we would shut Meyers out. They are a very good team. We came on strong physically. We hung on and won."
Bishop O'Reilly (17-3) faces the District 4 runner-up on Tuesday at King's College's Monarch Fields at either noon or 2 p.m. Meyers finishes its season at 13-7-1.
The Queensmen used solid play from fullbacks Paul Austin, Mike Ferraro and Dave Hurley and sweep Steve Austin.
"You have to give them all credit," Wignot said of his defense. "That's not a position everyone wants to play. Everyone wants to be on the front line scoring goals. But they take a lot of pride on not giving up goals."
That is something the O'Reilly defense has become accustomed to. In fact, the Queensmen gave up just 13 goals in the regular season, second-fewest in Division II.
"I thought they played a good game," Meyers coach Ray Joseph said. "We didn't get much offensive attack until the second half when it was too late."
O'Reilly's goal came at 11:11 of the second quarter. Joe Onzik took a throw-in from the left side about five yards from the end line. Onzik's throw was a line drive and right on target. The Queensmen offense treated it like a corner kick and Koch headed the ball out of the reach of Meyers' keeper Rich Birkenhead.
Meyers had chances throughout the game, but O'Reilly keeper Vic Zulkoski made crucial saves. With 1:10 remaining, Meyers' James Tweedy blasted a shot that looked like it could tie the score. But Zulkoski, who recorded seven saves, came out far in the box and punched the ball out of danger.
"I would rather have a guy who plays aggressively," Wignot said of Zulkoski. "He's a great field player, too. He sacrifices a lot for us."
"This is the best feeling - to win the championship game," Zulkoski said. "But the defense made it happen. It all came together for one game."
Bishop O'Reilly 0100 -1 Meyers 0000 -0
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