Belle Vernon boys soccer downs Greensburg Salem in Section 3-AAA

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Tuesday, September 18, 2018 | 10:00 PM


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Belle Vernon and Greensburg Salem had not played in boys soccer since 2005 so the teams had to get reacquainted in their Section 3-AAA matchup Tuesday night.

Their findings: Greensburg Salem is a lot better now than it was 13 years ago, but Belle Vernon remains one of the WPIAL’s top programs.

Career goals leader Markello Apodiakos scored twice and added an assist to power the Leopards to a 3-1 victory at Offutt Field.

Belle Vernon (7-1-1, 4-1-1) stretched its unbeaten streak to six games.

“There was a lot of talking and their student section was saying some things but I have had that before,” said Apodiakos, who has 73 career goals, 12 this season. “We knew we had to play slower to get chances and we did that. We knew if we got one (goal) the rest would pour in.”

Greensburg Salem (5-2, 4-2), which saw goalkeeper Sage Parsley make 10 saves in the loss, took a 1-0 lead into halftime.

But the Leopards scored twice inside the final 13 minutes to finally gain separation from the Golden Lions.

“(Greensburg Salem) is a good team; very well-coached and organized,” Belle Vernon coach Rob Miele said. “They did some things we didn’t expect in the first half. We had to be patient.”

Aaron Brown ran wide to the left and fired a shot past Golden Lions keeper Sage Parsley in the 67th minute for the go-ahead goal.

Brown has moved up with Greensburg Central Catholic transfer JoJo Schwerha joining the team recently.

“We had some communication issues on the first two goals,” Greensburg Salem coach Sam Lauris said. “We tried to pack it in the middle and force them to beat us that way. We didn’t want to give them corner kicks because they’re so dangerous with them. We got tired legs as the game went on.”

Apodiakos lasered a nifty shot from one side of the net to the other, and a shot only a player of Apodiakos’ caliber might even try, to make it 3-1 in the 76th minute.

“I saw the back post open,” he said.

The opening score didn’t come until the 40th minute, just before halftime. Junior midfielder Joshua Klueber sent a free kick high into the night sky from about 30 yards away. Leopards goalkeeper TJ Watson made a play on the ball but it bounced over his head and into the twine to give the Golden Lions a 1-0 lead.

Just five minutes into the second half, another set piece set up the equalizer. Apodiakos crept into the box and essentially alley-ooped a corner kick past keeper Parsley to make it 1-1.

Greensburg Salem started the season 5-0, posting three, one-goal victories. It was the team’s best start in at least 15 years.

They did start 4-0 two years ago before fading off. The Golden Lions began last season 0-6 and finished 4-13-1.

“Our kids did some good things and keep improving,” Lauris said. “(Belle Vernon) beat us technically tonight.”

Bill Beckner is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bill at bbeckner@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BillBeckner.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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