Mars has been sitting atop Class 3A Section 1 all season, but it has not been easy. The Planets have just been able to make a living out of winning close games. Since a 2-2 tie to Greensburg Salem in section play Sept. 13, Mars has gone 3-0 in one-goal games. It defeated Indiana, 1-0, Hampton, 2-1, and Knoch, 1-0. The Hampton and Knoch games came on the road. The Knoch game may have been the most difficult. It was the third meeting of the season between the two teams with Mars winning the first two, 3-0, in the span of three days (the first game was not a section contest as it happened in the Pine-Richland kickoff tournament). Mars (8-1-1, 6-0-1) now has a comfortable lead over Greensburg Salem (7-1-1, 5-1-1) and Hampton (6-2-1, 4-1-1) in the race for the section title.
ALTOONA, PA -- Ben Mullins shot a career-best as the La Roche men's golf team competed in the Penn State Altoona Invitational on Saturday at Sinking Valley Country Club.
Mullins, a Mars graduate, shot a 2-under 70 to win the invitational.
(photo courtesy of La Roche College)
It was a surprising start to the 2016 campaign for the Mars boys soccer team. The Planets, expected to compete for a WPIAL title in their new classification - 3A - fell to 1A Vincentian Academy, 2-1, in the season-opener and the first game of the Pine-Richland tournament. Mars put the game behind them and reeled off four consecutive shutout wins. In the consolation game of the Pine-Richland tournament, Mars shut out Knoch, 3-0. Three days later the Planets duplicated the effort, this time in section play by beating Knoch, 3-0. Cory Ferguson, Ryan McGuire and Shane Lisman scored goals for Mars in the second win over Knoch. The Planets extended the winning and scoreless streak to three games when it blasted Armstrong on the road, 7-0. The Planets defeated Gateway, 4-1, on Saturday.
Mars did not lose a single section game last season. In fact it won every single one, finishing 12-0 in Section 2-AA. Only one of those games was decided by a one-goal margin. In just one section game this season, the Planets may have gotten a better idea what life will be like in its new section and classification, Section 1-AAA. Mars edged Gateway, 1-0, in the section opener for both teams. Taylor Hamlett's goal late in the first half was the difference in the game. In it's season opener, Mars stepped up in class and tied Class 4A Pine-Richland, 1-1.
Mars and Vincentian are paired up in the first day of the Pine-Richland Tournament, Friday, September 2, 2016. Vincentian wins by a goal 2-1.
Photos by Marilyn C. Schwilm, Tri-State Sports & News Service