MAHOPAC, N.Y. - A 1-2-1 start to the season is not a record most teams would be happy with, but considering the competition, the Mahopac Indians are off to a promising start.
The Indians rallied to tie powerhouse Arlington in their opener and then squared off with defending Section 1 Class A state champion Somers in their second game.
Not exactly an easy way to open the season.The Indians came out firing and held a 2-0 lead more than midway through the second half behind goals from Niko DeCola and Tommy Pereira on Sept. 7 in the opening round of Yorktown’s tournament. Somers staged a furious rally in the final 10 minutes, however, to pull out a 3-2 win.
Despite the loss, Mahopac coach Jim Gencarelli took away positives.
“Going up 2-0 was a great confidence booster,” Gencarelli said. “Obviously it didn’t end the way we wanted it to, but it really shows that we’re a team to be taken seriously. We put ourselves on the map a little bit.”
Lucas Fecci, who had two goals, put Somers ahead with just 3:30 on the clock.
“We just made a couple of mistakes that snowballed,” Gencarelli said. “[Somers] got that first goal and you could tell the momentum shifted in their direction. I was trying to do maybe a little too much trying to get some options for some of my guys that they were trying to take away.”
Mahopac bounced back with a much-needed win in its next game with a 4-1 victory over Arlington B in the consolation game on Sept. 9.
“We were really down (after the Somers loss),” Gencarelli said. “But coming back today and getting the win was important.”
The Indians were tied 1-1 with the Admirals but went up 2-1 late in the first half and added two goals in the second half to seal the win.
“We started off a little flat,” Gencarelli admitted. “We scored that first goal which was great, but then we gave them a goal right back. I was glad that we were able to rebound and start playing our way at the end of the first half and into the second half. The win was definitely important to move forward and get past that Somers game.”
Max Lichtman had a goal and an assist to lead the way. Augie Djerdjaj, Joe Dedvukaj and James O’Brien added a goal apiece. Chris Walpole added an assist.
“Max and Augie in the middle with Niko up top, he’s always a threat,” Gencarelli said of who stood out in the win. “Johnny Bernardi played well, Nick Estrada on the outside. James O’Brien scoring the hustle goal was great. He really put pressure on the keeper and was able to get that first one in for us which was huge. Our back-line. Tommy Pereira did a great job with Matt Komosinski, Ryan Randecker and John Shea.”
The Indians lost to host Horace Greeley 1-0 on Sept. 11 with Joe Muratore and Kevin Valdes combining to make nine saves. They then were scheduled to travel to Yorktown on Sept. 13, and host rival Carmel today at 4:15 p.m.