WEST PITTSTON – Jake Urban opened his senior season at Wyoming Area playing goalie to help fill what turned out to be just a temporary need for the defending Wyoming Valley Conference Division 2 champions.
The school’s record-holder for most goals in a single game returned to the attack by midseason.
Urban showed off his scoring skills with a new personal best for one quarter, scoring six times in the third quarter Monday at Jake Sobeski Stadium.
Urban celebrated Senior Night with seven goals and one assist while helping Wyoming Area clinch at least a tie for the division title with an 18-10 victory over visiting North Pocono.
The Warriors wrapped up the division title as the week progressed and finished the regular season at 9-4. Unlike a year ago, Wyoming Area has a win and two one-goal losses – one in overtime – in its games against the Division 1 teams it will have to be able to battle with to contend in the upcoming District 2 Class 2A playoffs.
“It boosts our confidence being a fourth-year program and to be able to hang with some of the top teams,” Urban said. “Losing to (Scranton) Prep by one goal, losing to Wyoming Sem in overtime, that’s when you can see it coming together and see the improvement from where we were.
“You can tell how much our coach (Shaun Rohland) cares about it. When we beat Dallas, he was speechless.”
Wyoming Area has built a separation from its Division 2 rivals, going 16-0 against them in the past two years, many with dominant efforts.
Second-place North Pocono did cause some problems early as Wyoming Area may have been dealing with some of the emotions of playing its senior game at the school’s football stadium in its once-a-year appearance there.
“We get way too fired up and we self-destruct,” Urban said. “As long as we calm down and play our game, that’s when we do our best.
“Before the game, I told everyone just calm their nerves and go out and play like it’s another game. We did pretty well.”
North Pocono scored first and led 3-1 after one quarter.
The Trojans were still in front, 3-2, before Jake Switzer made a steal and turned it into the tying score with 6:47 left in the half.
Urban converted an F.J. Braccini assist 28 seconds later to put Wyoming Area ahead for the first time.
Justin Joseph continued his usual faceoff dominance and kept the ball to go in for the team’s third goal in 34 seconds.
“Our offense clicks at different times,” said Urban, who had a nine-goal game against Tunkhannock as a sophomore. “When we click, we’re moving the ball well, getting better shots, not being selfish with it.”
North Pocono forced one last tie at 5-5.
Urban took care of breaking the game open in the final 1:43 of the first half and first 1:11 of the second half. He assisted Switzer and Joseph again made the most of a faceoff win for goals 15 seconds apart and a 7-5 lead. Urban then scored the first two goals of the second half, one off a Switzer assist, the other unassisted.
By the time Urban was done, Wyoming Area had scored nine straight goals, including his six in the third quarter, and was ahead, 14-5.
Switzer, Dominic DeLuca, Ethan Hosier and Joseph each added two goals. Switzer had three assists, DeLuca two and Hosier one to go along with their goals. Joseph won 16 of 19 faceoffs in the first three quarters to keep Wyoming Area in possession.
Wyoming Seminary 10
Wyoming Area 9
Wyoming Seminary won Tuesday’s WVC crossover game in overtime.
Wyoming Area 15
F.J. Braccini scored four goals and assisted another Wednesday in the title-clinching road victory.
Dominic DeLuca had three goals and an assist. Justin Joseph, Jake Switzer and Ethan Hosier each scored twice.
Alex Hawk had four saves.
Wyoming Area 11
Abington Heights 6
Justin Joseph won 17 of 18 faceoffs, scored three goals and had an assist Friday to lead the Warriors to the non-league road win.
F.J. Braccini also had three goals, Jake Switzer had a goal and three assists and Alex Hawk made nine saves.
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