By Chris Goldberg, Posted 7/17/22

    NEW CASTLE, Del. – Goalie Zach Isaac said his focus never changed even after his FCA Upstate squad fell behind, 4-0, early in the second half of today’s Victory Events Liberty National Elite Classic 2023 AA title game against Duke’s Young Guns (PA).

    “The only thing on my mind was to save every ball and that’s what I did,” said Isaac, of Webster Thomas HS. “I was relaxed – I let the game play.”

    Isaac saved 7 of the 8 shots he faced and Mikey Valent (Rush Henrietta) scored the game-winner in OT to lift FCA to the title, 6-5. Conner Vaughn (2G, Lafayette) sent the game into OT by scoring his second tally with 10 seconds left in regulation on a nifty bounced shot from the right side.

    “It feels great because we’ve been striving all year to win a tournament and the last two we fell one game short,” said Isaac. “We were all in on this tournament. We went 6-0, which was our goal.”

    FCA scored three unanswered goals to make it 4-3, but Austin Hahn (Central Bucks West) put Dukes back up 5-3 with just over 5 minutes to play. Jacob Parzych (2G, Williamsville North) got FCA back within 6-4 a minute later.

    Valent, who is committed to Hobart, is the FCA faceoff standout, and traded draws with Trent Layton (Academy of the New Church, Sacred Heart commit). Valent typically stays on if he wins the draw and in overtime he took the winning shot after a few quick passes.

    “I was losing some faceoffs and getting whacked all day,” he said. “But I buckled down through it and if I didn’t get the clamp I would go get the ball. That’s what we did as a team, and this kid (Isaac) stood on his head and was absolutely outstanding.”

    Makai Hillmon (Rush Henrietta) added one tally for FCA.