Andes, SK battle to overtime tie in key boys' soccer matchup
By John Bernhardt
Conventional wisdom says that in sporting events no one goes home happy when two teams play to a tie. That was not the case in South Kortright yesterday when the first place Rams held on to salvage a 1-1 tie against Andes. SK had to breathe a sigh of relief when the final horn sounded after the second overtime period with the score still deadlocked at one. As the regular season winds down, the tie allows the Rams to maintain their one-game advantage over the surging Mountaineers. SK stands 6-0-1 in Delaware League play with Andes close behind at 6-1-1.
The contest lived up to the championship hype with both teams well-matched and bringing their A games. In fact, statistically, in the first half, SK and Andes looked like mirror images. Both teams took 11 shots on goal and had 2 corner kicks. Strong defensive play and superb play in the goals was a trademark on both sides of the field.
South Kortright almost caught Andes off-guard in the opening minutes of play. Within the first minute, Cody Burns had drilled a rocket just wide, left of the goal, and Dillon Cole had maneuvered for a header close to the SK net.
After Sage Beemer lifted Andes’ first shot on goal over three minutes into the contest, Andes settled in. With Corey Barrett playing spectacular ball in the midfield and James Littaker having his best game of the season, Andes mounted several threats. Andes’ high-scoring forward, Peter Fabrykiewicz, turned on several shots, and Eric Reed lofted two well-placed strikes toward the net, but SK goalie Charlie Darling used his tall frame expertly, stretching high to grab the ball out of the air over his head to make the saves.
SK did control the ball through a large portion of the early minutes in the second half. The Rams kept the ball boxed in their offensive end, exerting continual pressure but few promising scoring chances.
SK caught a break with the clock showing less than 20 minutes to play in regulation. A long volley toward the goal was bobbled by the Andes keeper with the ball bouncing back into play and setting off a mad scramble. With SK forwards and Andes defenders clawing for the ball, a scrum took shape just inside the goalie’s box. Andes was called for a trip, and senior Tanner Metzko nailed the penalty kick to give SK its only score of the game.
Four minutes later, it looked like Andes might be awarded a penalty chance of their own. A Barrett-to-Fabrykiewicz through ball found the area’s leading scorer driving toward the goal with a one-step lead on two defenders. The Ram defenders caught Fabrykiewicz from behind, sandwiching and flattening the Andes striker, but no whistle sounded.
Barrett later used skill and finesse to win a ball in the midfield and carry it nearly 45 yards before his shot deflected off the left post. Andes finally nabbed the tying strike with just over five minutes to play. Eric Reed intercepted a volley from a Ram defender and chipped a pass to Fabrykiewicz with room on the right wing. The explosive forward dribbled twice and ripped a sizzling strike into the far corner of the Andes goal.
Both teams launched last-second scoring scares, SK’s coming at the end of regulation time, and Andes in the closing seconds of the first overtime. SK’s Darling and Andes’ Josh Bonifacic met the challenges.
The teams played evenly throughout the extra periods with both teams taking four shots on goal and each trying one corner kick.
Prior to Monday’s match-up, the Mountaineers posted a solid 5-2 victory over visiting Jefferson on Thursday. Fabrykiewicz tallied a hat trick over seven minutes for Andes to move the Mountaineers from a one-goal deficit to a two-goal lead. After falling to 2-0, Andes’ Corey Barrett netted a shot from about 18 yards out to bring his team within one. Fabrykiewicz’s three goals made it 4-2 and Eric Reed tallied the Mountaineers’ fifth goal.
While Monday’s tie with South Kortright tilts the Mountain Division chase in SK’s direction, the title chase is far from over, as both teams still need to battle Upper Division leader Margaretville. Andes finishes its regular season on Saturday, Oct. 17 in Margaretville.
Blue Devil boys keep streak alive with wins over Downsville, Davenport
By Julia Green
The Margaretville boys posted a solid 5-1 victory over the host Eagles of Downsville on Thursday, with five different Blue Devils tallying goals. Cody Fronckowiak, Sam Mendoza, Javier Martinez, Marcus Moore and Greg Lehn all found the back of the net for the Blue Devils, and Head Coach Jeremey Marks said that very concept of scoring by committee is a vital asset of his Margaretville offense.
“I think one strength we have is that you can’t key in on one guy to shut our offense down,” he said. “We have five guys score, and I think on any given night we have guys capable of scoring one or two goals. Their defense kind of took Abraham [Morales] and Tyler [Smith] out of it, and we had other guys step up. It’s one of our strengths, and I hope it continues.”
Morales and Smith are frequent scorers for the Blue Devils, both providing quick feet and considerable speed along the flanks and causing trouble for opponents’ outside backs.
The Blue Devils posted an 18-3 advantage in shots and an 8-2 edge in corner kicks, and Margaretville keeper Brian Faulkner tallied four saves for his team, which held a 2-0 lead at halftime.
“I thought we did a good job possessing and passing it around,” Marks said. “We weren’t in a super rush to score, kind of getting organized and taking what they gave us. We missed some opportunities early, but I liked how we were settling and possessing and trying to make the extra pass.”
Following the halftime break, the Blue Devils were quick to strike, tallying three goals over a five-minute span to take a 5-0 lead.
Margaretville followed Thursday’s victory with a nearly-too-close-for-comfort 2-1 win over visiting Charlotte Valley on Monday. The Blue Devils found themselves in the hole early after an own-goal by a Margaretville player seven minutes into the first half gave the Wildcats an early one-goal lead. They maintained composure, however, tying it at one less than a minute later when striker Cody Fronckowiak received a cross from the right-hand side, settled it just inside the 18, and buried it in the left-hand corner.
The teams went into halftime tied and the game remained deadlocked at one for the majority of the second half until just after the five-minute mark, when Javier Martinez wound up and took a shot that was saved by the Charlotte Valley keeper; however, Smith was there to put it away.
“Tyler had a nice read and followed it up and put it away,” Marks said, adding that the match-up was a “typical Delaware League match.”
“It was physical, and it was back-and-forth,” he said. “We had some opportunities early to put some on the board and didn’t, and then they got the own goal and Brian had some nice saves to snuff out some of their opportunities. They’re a good team and that was a good win for us in terms of the league.”
Following Monday’s win, the Blue Devils have a three-game lead in the Upper Delaware division. They currently own a 9-0-1 overall record and are 6-0 in the league as they head into the final week of the regular season and prepare to face South Kortright and Andes, who are first and second in the Mountain division, respectively.
“I like how we’re playing,” Marks said. “It’s one of those seasons where you see that it’s kind of crept along, and all of a sudden the last two weeks are here and the season’s over before you know it. We have a week and a half left in the regular season to meet our next goal of defending our Upper Delaware league title.”
And, heading into that final week and a half, Marks is optimistic about the way his team is playing.
“We’re healthy, we don’t have any significant injuries, we’ve got guys coming to practice trying to improve and get better, and we’re still taking it one game at a time,” he said. “We’re not doing anything now differently than we did – we’re just playing with a little more sense of urgency, I hope, as the end of the season approaches. We want to continue to improve every day in practice and in games so that we’re playing at the top of our game as the postseason approaches.”
Margaretville will travel to Jefferson to face the host JayHawks on Thursday.
Roxbury comes of BYE week to battle visiting Windham
After a week of rest, the Roxbury Rockets battled to a tough 1-0 loss against visiting Windham on Monday night. After a scoreless first half, the Warriors struck early in the second, netting the only goal of the game less than ten minutes into the half.
Windham out-shot Roxbury 10-5, while the Rockets held an 8-2 edge in corner kicks.
Roxbury goalkeeper Garrett Hall tallied nine saves for the Rockets, who moved to 1-5-5 on the season and will face the host Wildcats of Charlotte Valley on Wednesday.