Saratoga Catholic Falls in Return to Soccer
To some teams, season openers might not generally be that big of a deal. For the Saratoga Central Catholic boys soccer team - it was a very big deal.
For the record, the Saints dropped a 4-0 decision to the host Greenwich Witches. The opener marked the first year for soccer at Central Catholic since the 2006-07 season.
"We haven't had a team in a very long time, so it was a big deal for us," sweeper Chris Larson, the squad's co-captain and lone senior said. "We've all been pushing hard for a soccer program the past couple years and I'm really excited that for my senior year, we were finally able to get a team together and play."
"I'm very pleased," coach Tim Barnes said. "One thing we pride ourselves on is a commitment to fair play and (though) the score wasn't our way, there wasn't anything other then professional play out of our boys, which is what I was most proud of - the rest we can work on."
Greenwich scored what would prove to be the only goal the Witches would need when Garrett Kerega scored just under six minutes into the first half. Hunter Borbolla made it a 2-0 contest at the 7:29 mark and Nate Passino finished the first half scoring just before intermission.
Despite the third goal, Barnes saw a bright spot from Saints' keeper Joe Schmidt on the play - that being putting himself in a better defensive position in the second half.
"We were choosing people positions and one of the things about Joe, who was in goal tonight and did such a good job, is that he's a catcher and that's how he became the goalie," Barnes said. "It was not particularly fair for him, but it's what was best for the team. I liked not only his hustle, but how he learned and started to play a little higher."
Saints goal keeper Joe Schmidt
Greenwich finished the night's scoring less than three minutes into the second half on an Elliott Hansen goal.
"I thought we played well and controlled the ball well," Greenwich coach Kevin Aierstok said. "We were finishing well and I'll take those finishes.
"I thought they (Saints) played hard, they got to the ball hard and they have a good idea of what they're trying to do. We just got the better of it tonight."
Central Catholic's best scoring opportunity of the night came near the 10:00 minute mark of the second half, when Witches' keeper Kort Furman stopped a shot by the Saints' Jordan Kranick.
The play was a simple indication of the effort that would be seen from the Saints in the second half.
"We know each other and we get in each other's heads," Chris Larson said of the second half effort. "We said, all right, we need to leave that first half behind and get something going. We held them pretty well in the second half and the passes were a lot more precise.
"Quite honestly I think we're doing a fantastic job with the amount of kids we have playing against teams such as Greenwich that have had a team for years. These guys are blending together nicely and I think we're going to have a really great season."
ON THE WIRE