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Allentown posts unbeaten freshman boys’ soccer season

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By Wayne Witkowski

Allentown High School’s varsity boys’ soccer team had its ups and downs this season, accumulating enough power points to reach the state tournament this week. But its future is brightened after its freshman boys’ team finished unbeaten.

Goalkeeper Sam Parker notched nine shutouts and Allentown outscored its opponents, 45-5, en route to an 11-0-1 season. The Redbirds tied Hightstown High School, 1-1, on a goal by fullback Jayden Bonavita. It came late in the season, when Allentown had its only close game against Lawrence High School in a comeback victory, 2-1, which center fullback Matt Lunski scored the game-winner in overtime. Aside from those two games, Allentown allowed its other three goals to Notre Dame High School.

“In that Lawrence game, they stuck around, but we showed in that game we can play against anybody and beat anyone,” coach Taylor Klaskin said. “We’re excited about the season and about the varsity. Eleven or 12 seniors had graduated from last year’s varsity team, so they were very young this year with sophomores and juniors. We had a good junior varsity season and with them and these freshmen moving up to varsity, that team looks solid.”

It was a dramatic jump from the two-win season the previous year — an upswing that Klaskin credits to a larger talent pool of players coming up from the middle school.

Parker and Lunski were captains for Allentown’s freshman boys’ team along with Jackson Monahan, who solidified the center midfield with Dardean Jonbalaj and T.J. Duran. Allentown started five midfielders in a 4-5-1 formation. Dan McCormack and Liam Murphy played on the outside, and Enzo Delcid rotated into the lineup at midfield and also played on defense.

Bonavita and McCormack accounted for more than 20 of the goals scored between them.

“Midfield definitely was the key. We had our best players there,” Klaskin said.

The coach pointed out that the formation most effectively controlled the ball and got it to Bonavita, as well as Jake Detwiler coming in off the bench and anyone else playing that spot.

Bob McQuade strengthened the middle of Allentown’s back line with Lunski, while the outside fullbacks were Nate Somers and Ryan Whiteney.

Other players making major contributions rotating into the lineup were Noah Mason and Cody Mulryne at the outside midfield spots.

The rest of the team includes Aidan Leahy, Danny Fahim, Giuseppe Pierleonardi, Armon Pruthi, Ethan Kleshinsky, Trevor Lennon, Jai Gill, Nitya Shah and Jared Carpenito.

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