MAHOPAC, N.Y.— Nobody understands more than the Mahopac Indians that getting the soccer ball close to the net is simply not good enough.
The Indians fell to the visiting Horace Greeley Quakers 3-1 on Sept. 24.
“That’s the story of this whole year,” senior captain Davian Robinson said. “We have to finish all of our chances up top. We get good looks but we need to just work together as a team better.”
The Indians controlled possession for the first 10 minutes of the match until the Quakers found the aggression in them. Hanging tough until the 34th minute, the Mahopac defense fell asleep when Greeley’s Jonathon Gerstein scored.
“We have to work on possessing (the ball) more and trying to look for the midfield,” senior captain Evan Hands said. “We are going to work on our formation to do that.”
The Quakers scored another goal before halftime after Jack Cohen rocketed his shot f past senior goalie Jeremy Carroll, doubling their edge at halftime.
“We need to work on switching the field and possessing the ball,” senior captain George Weiss said. “We also need to stop with the long ball stuff and just move as a team. They were quicker than us to the ball and we have to win the 50/50’s and keep our composure. When they scored I felt a drain out of our team and that can’t happen.”
Robinson headed a shot just wide left early in the second half three minutes before Horace Greeley notched one more goal in the 55th minute when Cohen stuck it in again close to the net on the left side.
“We have had chances (all season) but we just haven’t been able to finish,” senior captain Kyle Fergie said. “When we don’t finish our chances our confidence just dips as the game goes on.”
Carroll broke his leg while coming out of the goal to make a superb save, while getting kicked by an opposing player at the same time about 10 minutes into the half.
“The injury definitely pumped us up,” Weiss said. “We wanted to win it for him and unfortunately could not. It [stinks] that his season got robbed from him.”
Mahopac responded with a goal from junior midfielder Augie Djerdjaj’s on a header. Junior defender Tommy Pereira sent in the assist on a corner kick, which made it 3-1 with 25 minutes to play.
But Greeley just had too much speed for the Indians to run with, as they controlled most of the possession until the final buzzer.
“We need to play more to our feet,” Mahopac coach Jim Gencarelli said. “We played a lot of long balls in the first half straight from our back to our forwards. We need to work more on possessing.”
Carroll had eight saves before leaving the game and senior substitute Harry O’Shea saved eight shots himself.
Mahopac (1-4-2) edged Roy C. Ketcham, 3-2, on Sept. 22 for its first victory. Sophomore forward Niko DeCola netted two goals, including the go-ahead one during the 81st minute from a free kick. Junior Nick Estrada scored in the 61st minute off a pass from junior midfielder James O’Brien.
Carroll also had a magnificent performance by saving 11 shots on goal. He saved 10 shots when the Indians lost at Arlington, 3-1, on Sept. 19. Djerdjaj knocked through their one goal again during the 39th minute.