Andes boys still unbeaten after back-to-back soccer victories
By Julia Green
The Andes boys’ soccer team extended its unbeaten streak to four games this week, posting victories against Davenport and Gilboa on Thursday and Friday, respectively.
“Going into the game we knew it was going to be a tough game,” said Andes Head Coach Adam VanValkenburgh of Thursday’s 2-1 win at Davenport. “Davenport traditionally has been one of the better teams in the league. I think we definitely caught them off-guard – I don’t think they expected us to play as hard as we did.”
The Mountaineers capitalized early, with junior Peter Fabrykiewicz tallying his first goal of the season off an assist from Eric Reed less than three minutes into the game. The Mountaineers carried that 1-0 lead into halftime; Davenport tied it up 15 minutes into the second half, but Andes battled back as Fabrykiewicz tallied his second goal of the day a mere four minutes later off a throw-in from Corey Barrett.
“It was back and forth, a hard-fought game,” VanValkenburgh said. “I think we got in their heads a little bit – they were getting emotional. They spread the ball well and they’re pretty quick, but we just played an outstanding game.
“My defense really stepped up, man-marking their front-line players and forcing them to take tough shots, and when they did, Josh was right there to make the saves.”
Andes keeper Josh Bonifacic tallied seven saves in the game, as the Mountaineers out shot the Wildcats 16-10.
The Mountaineers turned around and gave another strong showing the following day, posting a 9-1 victory over visiting Gilboa on Friday.
“In the beginning it was kind of back and forth,” VanValkenburgh said of the Gilboa game. “We definitely controlled every aspect of the game. We kind of kept the ball up on our end most of the time.”
Andes out shot Gilboa 46-4.
“We passed the ball really well and we had really good communication,” he added. “We just went out and performed to the best of our ability, and when we saw an opening, we took it and capitalized on the opportunities.”
VanValkenburgh is pleased with his team’s level of play and is looking forward to continuing the streak in coming weeks.
“I said going into the beginning of the year that it felt like in past years we were building toward this year,” he said. “This year, I have a dominant senior core and good supporting upperclassmen, and I feel like we’ve been putting everything we’ve been building together. The boys are excited to see how far we can keep this going.
The Mountaineers faced Stamford at home on Tuesday and will play a make-up game against Windham on the road on Thursday.
“I think we can compete with any team in this league and we have a fighter’s chance of being one of the contenders,” VanValkenburgh said. “I’d like to think we’re one of the best teams in the league. Obviously, I haven’t seen every team yet, but I think we have a good chance to be a contender.”
“I thought we created a lot of scoring opportunities,” said Margaretville Head Coach Jeremey Marks of his team’s 4-1 home opener against Hunter-Tannersville on Thursday.
The Blue Devils held a 3-0 lead at halftime over the visiting Wildcats.
Margaretville’s first goal came off a deflection from Cody Fronckowiak a mere five minutes into the game. Seventeen minutes later, Abraham Morales made it 2-0, finishing off a pass from Sam Mendoza. Smith scored again before halftime to give the Blue Devils the 3-0 halftime edge, and Morales tallied his second goal late in the second half.
The Blue Devils out shot the Wildcats 22-9 and had a 6-3 advantage in corner kicks; still, Marks said, he felt there were opportunities that were not taken advantage of.
“I thought we did a pretty good job generating possession of the ball in the midfield and starting our attack,” Marks said. “We just didn’t do a great job of putting the ball in the goal. We had shots, but we didn’t put away some shots we normally do. We were just a half-step slow to the second ball in the box.”
The Hunter defense also presented a challenge to the Blue Devils’ front line by pushing up and holding the line.
“Hunter runs a nice offensive trap, and we didn’t do a great job adjusting,” Marks said. “We got caught napping on a few of those off sides.”
The Margaretville defense, however, presented quite a challenge to the Hunter front line.
“I thought our outside backs, Jacob Johnson and Iso Desic, did a good job on their guys,” Marks said. “Hunter’s two bets scorers played on the outside and those guys did a good job wining the ball. And Sam Mendoza did a nice job providing a spark and jumpstarting our offense.”
Looking forward, Marks said he is optimistic about the way his team is playing as they head into the thick of the season schedule.
“We’re doing a nice job of playing together,” he said. “I’ve seen a lot of unselfish play. I would like our midfield to be more controlling and more aggressive. I want us to control the flow of the game, and I think that starts with the midfield, so I was our midfielders to set that tone.”
The Blue Devils traveled to Roxbury on Tuesday to face the host Rockets and will compete in the annual Nelson Tournament in Fleischmanns on Friday and Saturday.
“It’s hard to say where we’re at,” he said, referring to a comparison with other teams in the league. “We’ve only had four games, so I’m anxious to play against some more competition so we can get an idea of where we’re at. I feel good about how our team is progressing and I think practice time has been utilized well. Now it’s a matter of getting the opportunity to play and compete against our league competition.”
The Blue Devils will face Schenevus in the first round of the Nelson Tournament at 7 p.m. on Friday, following a match-up between Ellenville and Downsville at 5:30 p.m. Winners of Friday’s games will meet in the championship match at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday. The championship will be preceded by the consolation game at 4:30 p.m.
The Roxbury Rockets’ soccer squad tallied its first win of the season this weekend, posting a 1-0 win over Downsville on Thursday.
The majority of the game saw the two teams locked in a scoreless tie, and it appeared the game was headed for overtime until Roxbury’s Kevin Lutz scored the game-winner off an assist from Garrett Hinkley with two minutes left in regulation.
“We’ve had so many ties and overtimes,” said Roxbury Head Coach Tom Faraci. “We did a little bit better job in the air, we retooled things in the midfield and that helped a little bit, giving us some consistency where we were able to hold play a little bit and not go end-to-end the whole time, so that was good. And I think our intensity – we’re starting to build a little bit. Our level of play is definitely coming up a little bit from where it was.”
The Rockets held a slim 6-5 shooting edge over the Eagles, but tallied 12 corner kicks to Downsville’s three. Roxbury keeper Garrett Hall had three saves for the Rockets.
“We’re continuing to try to get a little more aggressive in the air, win a few more of those touches,” Faraci said. “And I’m kind of hoping as we get a little more game experience, hopefully we’ll continue to see more positives. I definitely feel like we’re getting some more scoring opportunities, and hopefully we’ll continue to play good defense.”
Roxbury’s defense, Faraci said, has been setting the tone for his squad thus far, keeping the Rockets in some games in which they’ve been heavily under attack.
“There have been some games where I’ve said, ‘I’m glad we’re strong there, because if not, we’re not in the ballgame. It keeps us in ballgames and gives us a chance to be successful every night.”
The Rockets attempted to extend Thursday’s win when they traveled to Windham on Saturday, but battled to a 1-1 overtime tie with the host Warriors, ultimately edging the Warriors in penalty kicks. Roxbury held a 1-0 lead as time wound down, but the tail end of the game proved once again to be game changing.
Roxbury defender Jacob Liberatore put the Rockets on the board with just over 16 minutes left to play, burying a penalty kick awarded after a handball in the box by the Windham defense.
Things were looking good for the Rockets until the three-minute mark, when Windham’s Evan Goettsche finished a direct kick to tie the game at one goal apiece.
“We were really holding the momentum,” Faraci said. “We definitely had some quality shots, and everything was going our way and we were really thinking, ‘This could be one of those days we could shut the door,’ but we just don’t seem to be able to finish that game there.”
The two teams battled through two overtime periods, but neither was able to find the net, sending the game into penalty kicks. The Rockets capitalized, with the first three shooters finding the net and Roxbury keeper Garrett Hall saving the first three attempts by Windham shooters.
“We looked like champs there,” Faraci said. “We did a nice job handling that.”
The Rockets faced Margaretville on Tuesday; no result was available at press time. They travel to Jefferson on Thursday and Hunter on Saturday.