Sullivan County Democrat
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Democrat Photo by Ted Waddell

LIBERTY’S MIKE SALVIA heads the ball away from Tri-Valley’s Eric Polick.

Bears No Match
For Indians

By Ted Waddell
LIBERTY — September 24, 2002 – Liberty’s Mike Salvia swept the field for the Indians last Thursday, as he booted them to a 5-2 victory over the Bears of Tri-Valley in an OCIAA Division IV boys’ soccer game.
Salvia, described by his understated coach, Hazel Yaun, as “one of my best players” scored four out of the Indians’ five goals and was credited with an assist on the fifth, giving new meaning to the phrase “taking the fifth.”
The 17-year-old striker shares team captain duties with Corey Atkins, A.J. Gill and Doug Yaun.
“It was nice,” Salvia said. “There’s not a better feeling, because the goals come so little . . . it was really exciting to score four goals and get an assist.”
Chris Kenny scored the first goal of the match for T-V (1-3-1) at 7:47 in the opening half on a passing shot from Abram Leon. Seconds later, the Bears scored again in a melee in front of the goal. A shot by Greg Barnard was deflected out of the cage by Liberty goalkeeper Jeremy Liu, but Zack Bright leaped into the air and kissed it into the net to give the visitors a short-lived early game 2-0 lead.
However, the rest of the first half was all Liberty (3-2, 2-1 Division IV). Salvia scored three unanswered goals to give the Indians a 3-2 lead at the half. He put one into the net past Bears’ goalie Ryan Briggs at 21:30 on an assist by Justin Sutherland; scored again at 24:00 on an assist by Ramon Romero and closed out the first half by scoring unassisted at 20:00.
In the second half, Salvia scored at 15:05 off an assist from Jerald Isseks. Slightly over a minute later, Carlos Ramirez fired a shot into the cage on an assist from Salvia.
All in all, it was a banner afternoon of booting the ball into the net for Salvia, as he scored 80 percent of his team’s goals and got his foot into the last score of the game.
In the closing minutes of the hard-fought game, both coaches pulled their starting keepers out of the cage and sent in second-string keepers (Salvia for Liberty, and Martin Henry-Lester for the Bears) to give their respective starting goalies a bit of field time.
T-V’s Chris Kenny, a 16-year-old junior forward, summed it all up after the game.
“It felt good until they scored back,” he said. “After that . . . it was a horrible game.”
T-V Coach Chuck Barnard put on his game face and said “it was a fairly even game, (but) they outscored us.”
In reviewing the soccer year to date and looking down the field a ways, Barnard added, “We’re not getting blown out of the water . . . we probably won’t have a winning season, but we’ll probably win a couple more games.”
“I thought we controlled the game when we kept the ball on the ground and passed it,” Yaun said.
Throughout the match, Yaun was busy yelling to her players, “Keep it on the ground, keep it on the ground!”
Reflecting on a team that posted a 1-12 record last season, she said, “It’s the same team, but they’re jelling this year. I’m lucky to have 10 seniors, six of them starters.”

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