Blue Devils up mark to 8-0

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By John Bernhardt
A roster filled with skilled players is one thing. A roster filled with skilled played who play, as a team is something different. And, a roster filled with skilled players who play as a team that adds yet more firepower is something yet again. That aptly describes the Margaretville boys’ soccer team, since newcomer Roberto Sarabi joined the fold.
Sarabi’s unselfish, hustling play made for a quick transition as a new Blue Devil. The sturdy striker was a key factor in Margaretville’s 2-1 overtime win over Milford in a non-league contest played in Oneonta on Saturday. Milford, 5-1, in Tri-Valley league action, proved to be a stiff test of the undefeated Blue Devils. The two teams battled evenly for nearly 30 minutes in the first half before Victor Mendoza found Sarabi open near the middle of the goal face from just outside the right side of the box. Sarabi settled the ball and drilled it home putting Margaretville on top, 1-0.
Milford’s explosive offensive star, Payton Griffins found enough room to handle a pass from teammate Eli Rutledge between two Blue Devils defender that he turned into the tying strike with only 1:38 to play on the half.

Closely contested
It was a tense battle the rest of the way with both teams looking for the winning score. The game remained deadlocked at 1-1 through regulation, and Sarabi had a role in its conclusion nearly three minutes into overtime. This time Sarabi was the distributer, driving the ball down the left side then skidding a pass to Kyle Short in the middle of the box. Short nailed the game- winner, running Margaretville’s record to 8-0.
Sam Gil needed only 40 seconds to score the first of two first half goals in Margaretville’s 8-0 win over Jefferson. Short sandwiched a score between the Gil pair of goals with Sarabi adding a fourth score before the half.
Short, Gil, Matt VanValkenburg and Diego Caamano all scored second half goals for the Blue Devils.

Scoring burst
Stamford limited Margaretville to a Colby Russo goal that came with under two minutes to go in the first half last Tuesday. The Blue Devils then exploded from the gates scoring three goals over a 61-second span at the start of the final half. VanValkenburg used a Copper Reither feed to make it 2-0 at the 38:00 minute mark.
Sarabi netted an unassisted score 23 seconds later than converted a VanValkenburg pass to make it 4-0, 36 seconds later.
VanValkenburg added two more goals, with Reither, Dylan Shaffer, and Sam Gil adding single goals in Margaretville’s 8-3 win. Greg Mattice had a hat trick for the Indians.
The Blue Devils are on the road in Roxbury on Thursday then travel to Delhi on Saturday.

Rockets take title
The Roxbury Rockets boys’ soccer team brought home some hardware last week, earning the championship trophy of the Hunter-Tannersville Tournament with a well played, 2-0, victory. The Rockets used an iron wall of defense to keep Stamford away from the nets all afternoon.
Seniors Kris Walcutt and Joe McAfee provided the Rockets with all the firepower they would need with single first-half goals.
The Rockets dropped a Delaware League contest to South Kortright, 4-0, last week Tuesday. The two teams battled back and forth through the first 20 minutes of the first half. It appeared as if the Rockets had taken a 1-0 lead when a three touch passing sequence ended in the nets but the goal was nullified on an offside call.
SK took advantage of a handball call in the box with Griffin Metzko nailing the penalty kick on their next possession. The take away/add on sequence clearly rattled the Rockets. And, SK settled into an inside/outside passing pattern that would hold throughout the remainder of the contest with Sam Fabrykiewicz directing passes from the middle to set up his teammates. Metzko would add a second score and Ryan Sluiter added a pair of goals for the Rams.
Roxbury has a busy schedule this week with a games scheduled on the road in Downsville and Gilboa on Tuesday and Friday. The Rockets battle undefeated Margaretville on their home field on Thursday.