Local teams suffer losses in early soccer matchups

By John Bernhardt
Monday’s 2-1 loss to Davenport was a gut check of sorts for the Andes boys’ soccer team. After dropping a hotly contested come-from-behind decision to the Wildcats, the Mountaineers need to take a hard look in the mirror and decide the team they would like to be.
For the first 25 minutes Monday, Andes looked like one of the Delaware League’s top tier teams. From the left wing, sophomore Eric Reed left his footprint on the first 15 minutes of the game. Reed’s left foot initiated four serious goal attempts.
After just missing goals on a long shot that floated wide and a cross that was headed just over the crossbar, a second Reed cross 10 minutes into the game paid dividends. This time, the ball was settled by the Davenport sweeper Nick Keator. Andes striker Peter Fabrykiewicz picked Keator’s pocket, spun around the defender, and grounded a soft strike into the goal.
Wildcats’ defender Michael Ballard prevented a second Andes score seven minutes later. This time, Ethan Berghammer directed a corner kick across the goal face drawing out Wildcat goalie, Christian Hull. When the ball was redirected by an Andes striker toward the opposite corner of the goal, Ballard was there to head it away.
But, a momentum shift turned the action Davenport’s way during the final 15 minutes of the half.
Keator was the difference maker, directing a corner kick off his knee into the nets for the game winner with 12:55 left.
Josh Bonafacic turned in a brilliant performance in the goal for Andes.
Monday, Andes showed they can compete in the Delaware League. The Mountaineers still must prove they have the grit to face disappointment and summon sustained intensity over time. Andes will get that chance Thursday in Stamford.

Disappointing league start
An early-season shutout string continued for the Margaretville boys’ soccer team on Monday, but this time the Blue Devils found themselves on the wrong side of the scoreless ledger.
After recording impressive back-to-back nonleague washout victories to launch their season, Margaretville stumbled, finishing on the short side of a disappointing, 3-0, decision in their Delaware League opener in Hunter.
“We were out hustled,” lamented Margaretville coach Jeremey Marks. “We got beat to the ball. We weren’t marking well and were simply outplayed,” finished Marks.
The Blue Devils doubled their opponents’ shots on goals and took eight corner kicks to Hunter’s two, but Margaretville couldn’t find the nets. On the opposite side of the field, Hunter converted two-ping pong like goals with the ball deflected several times in a large scrum in front of the goal before a Wildcat powered it home.

Hunter runs Lady Devils
It’s a case of growing pains for the Margaretville girls’ soccer team. The young and inexperienced Blue Devils took their lumps Monday from their more experienced counterparts, dropping a 7-2 Delaware League opener to a seasoned Hunter team.
“Hunter was impressive,” complimented Margaretville coach Toni Smith. “Hunter has a veteran team that plays good fundamental soccer,” Smith noted.
Six different Wildcats scored goals lead by Alex Natale, who netted two shots and dished off a pair of assists.
Erica Faulkner chalked up both scores for Margaretville. Faulkner netted one unassisted score and converted a pass back assist from Amy Filupeit for the second score.

Margaretville's Erica Faulkner gets up for a header over a group of Milford defenders. -Photo by Julia Green