Johnson breaks record
Seeing Matt Johnson snap the school’s record for goals in a career was a foregone conclusion for the 2023 season. The math was pretty simple. The Northwestern senior had 62 goals coming into the season and needed 19 to break the old record of 80 goals for a career. Averaging 28.5 goals for the past two seasons, scoring 20 figured to happen. On Monday, Johnson scored two goals in a 12-0 win over Saucon Valley and now has 82 career goals.
“I don’t really think about it, I just go out and play,” said Johnson recently about his pursuit of the school record. “It’s more important that we keep winning and keep everybody healthy and playing well. We have a really good team and that’s what I focus on.”
Johnson has amassed 211 career points in his career with the Tigers. A strong run into the postseason would give Johnson the opportunity to reach 100 goals for his career, a lofty feat for a high school player.
Against the Panthers, a pair of sophomores also scored twice in the win. Caelan Stangil and Francesco Ponte both picked up two goals and classmate Austin Bittenbender added a solo goal. Jack Mauro, Jake Van Lierop, Isaac Frey, Tim Zellner, and Caden Mertz put goals on the board as well for Northwestern (8-0-0 Colonial, 11-0-0 overall).
Also in the last week, the Tigers beat Southern Lehigh 7-0 and downed rival Moravian Academy 3-2. Stangil had three goals in the win over the Spartans (5-2-0, 5-4-0) while van Lierop, Frey, and Zach Grim all scored to beat the Lions (5-2-0, 5-2-0).
A pair of juniors – Mauro and van Lierop – are tied for second on the team with 13 goals and Stangil is beginning to establish himself as a goal scoring threat with eight goals and five assists on the season.
The Tigers are the only team in District 11 to have clinched a playoff spot and are closing in on a guaranteed spot in the Colonial League with just four league games left on the schedule.
After a league game against Palmerton (1-5-0, 3-7-0), the Tigers will host Pine Grove (4-1-0 Schuylkill, 7-2-0 overall) in a nonleague game before facing more league competition in Bangor (4-2-1, 5-3-1) and Wilson (5-2-0, 6-3-0).