JOHNSTOWN, Pa. – Following the North’s 3-1 victory in the boys’ game of the Santa Fund Soccer Classic, Chestnut Ridge senior Jack Moyer was asked if he enjoyed his first-half goal or his assist on his squad’s insurance goal more.

In the spirit of the classic, and of the holiday season, Moyer decided that it was better to give than to receive.

“I liked the assist,” Moyer said. “The assist was good. I don’t get many of those for my team. It was just a good cross and easy finish.”

Moyer was named most valuable player of the boys game, which saw the North go up 16 seconds in as Richland’s Trent Rozich tucked a screamer inside the far post from about 25 yards out after winning possession just seconds before.

Moyer followed with a goal in the 9th minute to give the North a 2-0 lead. The early advantage was pleasant for North coach Jason Hughes, of Westmont Hilltop, who credited the soccer IQ of his players for their ability to jell quickly.

“Luckily, they’re all seniors,” Hughes said, “so they’re acclimated to the game. You give them a little bit of strategy and they have the skill or knowledge to go out and execute it.

“We don’t need multiple practices, or any practices for that matter. These kids know how to play the game, and with a little bit of guidance, can go out and play a fantastic 3-1 win like we just had.”

The South’s Colby Barnhouse (Bedford Area) cut into the North lead in the 67th minute when he controlled the ball in the penalty area before ripping a shot to his lower left.

Barnhouse’s Bedford teammate, Bowen Lamarche, almost knotted the score two minutes later when his close-range shot was punched away.

In the 77th minute, Moyer set up the game-sealing tally when his corner kick found Westmont Hilltop’s Ian Buday, who headed the ball in to make it 3-1.

The classic benefits The Tribune-Democrat’s Santa Fund, which provides gifts at Christmas for area families in financial hardship.

The girls’ game saw the South score three second-half goals to pull away from the North and take home a 4-0 win. Johnstown Christian’s Mary Hostetter picked up a brace – two goals – and MVP honors. Her first goal, coming off a feed from fellow Blue Jay Kasmira Mack, gave the South a 1-0 lead in the 29th minute after spending most of that time trying to solve North goalkeeper Sabrina Zimmerman, of Westmont Hilltop.

The South, which put 17 shots on target, added to its lead in the 58th minute on a tally by Hostetter.

“It’s a blessing to play with other players who are very advanced in the game,” Hostetter said. “I’m just excited to be out here.”

Goals from the Bedford Area tandem of Sydney Taracatac (64th minute) and Katelyn Shaffer (67th) followed to set the final, while Berlin Brothersvalley’s Hartley VanGilder picked up the clean sheet in net for the South.

With limited prep time, implementing lines of communication while in action was a big contributor in the South victory.

“We worked in the hour before the game on some passing combinations,” South coach Angie Berzonsky said.

“Then we did the passing combinations, forcing them to say each other’s name, so hopefully they’d be able to communicate a little better on the field.

“That started to click a little bit better. They started to remember each other. It wasn’t just trying to anticipate randomly what someone was trying to do.”

Shawn Curtis is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at 814-532-5085. Follow him on Twitter @ShawnCurtis430.

Shawn Curtis is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at (814) 532-5085. Follow him on Twitter @ShawnCurtis430.​

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