MCS boys top Rams in key soccer matchup
By John Bernhardt
The only thing predictable about a Margaretville versus South Kortright boys’ soccer match is unpredictability. Every fall the spotlight shines on these Delaware League powers. The long rivalry is a local sports’ epic with chapter after chapter of back and forth toil. Thursday’s showdown in Margaretville was no different, as the Blue Devils took a giant step toward clinching the Upper Division title with an impressive 2-1 victory.
South Kortright struck first in a game that could be a preview of the Crossover Championship game later in the month. SK converted a corner kick early in the contest with Ryan Dorosky finding Eric Burns in front of the net. Burns headed in the cross for the opening score.
Pure hustle evened things up right before the half. With time running out, Josh Smith raced to run down a ball that had crossed the out-of-bounds line to complete the throw-in before the horn sounded. Smith’s throw-in struck gold when it found Cody Fronckowiak, who drilled a hard shot that SK goalie Charlie Darling got a hand on but could not stop. With only eight seconds remaining on the clock, Margaretville had tied the score.
It would be an understatement to say that Fronckowiak’s goal fired Margaretville up. The Blue Devils left the field at the intermission on an elevated plane and maintained that energy throughout the second half. Margaretville bagged the game winner with under 14 minutes to play when freshman Peter Cella drove the ball down the right wing and crossed a pass to Smith. The speedy senior had a step on the SK defense, taking the pass one-on-one at Darling for the score.
“It would be hard to say one guy made the difference, because they all played solid today,” praised Margaretville coach Jeremey Marks.
The Blue Devils maintained their forward thrust, winning twice more after the SK victory. Margaretville recorded back-to-back shutouts blanking Coleman, 6-0 on Saturday and besting Gilboa, 4-0, on Monday afternoon. A Smith hat trick and a goal by Greg Lehn helped put away the Wildcats. “Josh has been stepping it up,” noted Marks when discussing the play of his senior forward. “He’s a scoring threat out there and has been showing strong leadership.”
The wins improve Margaretville’s Delaware League record to 8-1. Windham follows in second place at 5-1, their only league loss coming against the Blue Devils. A Margaretville win in Stamford on Thursday or a Windham loss during the final week of the regular season will lock up the division title for the Blue Devils.
Roxbury closing on a surge
For the past month, they have been staying just below the radar in the Delaware League boys’ soccer campaign. Yet, as the final week of the regular season approaches, Roxbury finds themselves very much in the thick of the hunt for the Mountain Division crown.
Roxbury’s, 4-0, drubbing of Hunter-Tannersville on their home field on Friday kept the Rockets’ title hopes alive. Jamie VanDyke and Ryan Skipper had a big part in keeping things going for Roxbury. The senior duo accounted for all of Roxbury’s scores by hitting two goals apiece. VanDyke and Skipper assisted each other on one of their two scores.
The Roxbury win coupled with back-to-back losses for South Kortright have turned the Delaware League race on its head. With losses to Downsville and Margaretville, South Kortright’s record drops to 6-2 in league play. Roxbury trails SK with three Delaware League losses.
Should the Rockets win on the road in Windham on Tuesday, Roxbury and SK will play for the crown on the Rams’ field on Thursday. If things align properly, the final game of the season will be a winner-take-all event, with the victor moving ahead to face the champion of the Upper Division in the Crossover Title game.
Lady Rockets nip Gilboa
“We’ve really been doing some great things on the field as the season evolves,” explained Roxbury coach Lisa Faraci. “Our problem has been finishing.”
Last week, the Lady Rockets put the finishing touches on an impressive, 2-1, victory over Gilboa. The Rockets made a quick impression, finding the nets within the first 10 minutes of the game. Marlise Cammer tallied the strike to get the Rockets’ offensive game in gear.
Gilboa evened things up five minutes before the half when Laura Potter took a pass from Heather Cunningham and scored. “Defensively, we did everything we hoped to do. We were keying on Potter but somehow she still managed a score,” added Faraci
Roxbury netted the winning goal with under five minutes to play in the game. This time, Paulina Cowan found herself in the right place at the right time to nab the game winner. Cowan played a rebound of a hard Heather Davie strike into the corner for the decisive goal.
“I’m proud of the fact that the girls didn’t let down after the Gilboa goal and played hard throughout the entire second half,” finished Faraci.
Tough losses slow Lady Devils’ playoff chances
It was a tough week for the Margaretville girls’ soccer team. The Lady Blue Devils dropped two, one-goal contests to Delaware League opponents, seriously compromising their chances of reaching post season play.
The Blue Devils battled Mountain Division leader Jefferson hard, dropping a 1-0 decision early in the week. Both teams took nine shots in the hard-fought contest, but Katie Bedford’s goal with 22 minutes remaining made the difference for the Jay Hawks. The winning score, a three-part sequence, started with Katie Clayton breaking away down the left side of the field. Clayton pushed a pass to Chelsea Martin who one touched the ball to Bedord for the game’s only score.
The disappointment only mounted in South Kortright at the end of the week. This time the Blue Devils built a huge shooting advantage over the Rams (26-12) but could not capitalize.
Margaretville netted the first goal eight minutes into the game when Erica Faulkner made good use of a Courtney Williamson pass for the score. SK stormed back three minutes later with Courtney Chambers converting a Tallulah Guadagnino pass to knot things up at 1-1.
The deadlock remained into the second half when Margaretville went on top once again. This time it was Amy Filupeit’s goal that gave the Blue Devils the lead. Filupeit was assisted by Carly Galatioto.
But, Renee Craft spoiled the Blue Devils’ victory plans. Craft hit two goals within two minutes late in the game for SK. Craft maneuvered the ball through the center of the Margaretville defense to tie the score at 3-3, then nabbed the game winner on a corner kick shortly after.
The two losses complicate Margaretville’s quest to reach the post season. To reach that goal, the Blue Devils will need to win both their outings during the final week of the regular season.