Planet boys allow 1st goal in 2-1 win

October 14, 2020 Cranberry Local Sports

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ADAMS TWP — Unbreakable.

That is the motto for the Mars boys soccer team this season. Saturday night, it showed why.

The Planets (11-0, 9-0) had not allowed a goal all season entering their non-section game against Mt. Lebanon at the Mars Athletic Complex. But they found themselves locked in a scoreless battle against the Blue Devils late in the second half.

They lost that scoreless streak.

They did not lose the game.

Senior midfielder Nabil Lahlou scored the tying goal with 19.2 seconds left in regulation and senior forward Dane Beller netted the game-winner with 11.6 seconds left in the first overtime as Mars escaped with a 2-1 victory.

“I was never worried about that streak,” Mars coach Chris Knauff said. “We didn't come into this season with the idea of not allowing any goals.

“We preach resiliency. Be unbreakable. Our kids played hard right to the final seconds and that's why we won this game.”

Through Saturday, Mars had outscored its opponents 69-1 this season. The Planets were scheduled to play at Knoch Monday night

The Planets controlled play for roughly 30 minutes in the first half against Mt. Lebanon. Their best scoring opportunity was a header by Zac Campagna — off a pass from Gabe Singh — that deflected off the left goal post with 11:45 left in the half.

Mt. Lebanon (3-6) was held to one shot on net and one corner kick in the first half. But it was the Blue Devils who eventually struck first.

A corner kick bounced around in the box before junior midfielder Zac D'Alesandro slipped it past Planet goalkeeper Jacob Gareis with 4:55 left in regulation.

“It was tough to give one up,” Mars captain and senior defender Trent Wick said. “But we all work together all of the time. We weren't going to give up.

“Most of us have been playing club soccer together for years. Our team has a lot of experience and that helps in games like this one.”

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John Enrietto

John Enrietto

I graduated with a Journalism degree from Ohio University in 1979. I started at the Eagle on August 24, 1997. My awards include 2nd place in feature writing from Ohio Associated Press (while working for the Steubenville Herald-Star), media award from Lernerville Speedway and 3rd place in a Pennsylvania AP contest for story feature.