TRR photos by Ted Waddell

Emoji: Before the game, Sullivan West’s 1st year soccer coach Kai Murray shows his squad what his reaction would be with a Bulldog’s goal.

Eldred booters win first game of the season

JEFFERSONVILLE, NY — It was a “Dog Day Afternoon” for the home team.

On Tuesday afternoon September 19, under glorious blue skies and balmy weather, the visiting Eldred Yellow Jackets boys' soccer squad squared off against the Bulldogs of Sullivan West (1-5).

In the first frame, Eldred (1-4) took control of the game early on, as they struck twice with unassisted goals in the league matchup: Jaiden Ocasio at 3:00, followed in short order at about the five-minute mark on a goal by Jordan Reed.

At the 50:55 mark in the second half, Sullivan West scored its only goal of the game on a PK off the foot of Luis Leon.

Despite a rather lackluster opening half, the “Dawgs” came back strong, and with a lot of heart played a much more aggressive final frame.

But in the end, trying to make up for those early Yellow Jackets goals proved to hill a bit too steep to climb.

Once you dig yourself into a hole, it can be hard to get back out.

With the win, the Eldred booters posted their first victory of 2017.

Soccer stats: shots on goal (SW 11, ECS 13), corner kicks (SW 1, ECS 5), keeper saves (SW’s Michael Mullally 12, ECS’s Patrick Kinney 5).

Kai Murray is in his rookie year at the helm of Sullivan West’s boys' varsity soccer team, taking over from veteran coach Deb Owens.

His take on the squad’s strengths, he said that even when down, “They continue to play with grit and commitment," adding the passing part of the equation has “improved every game.”

Murray said that his team comes out stronger in the second half, calling that both a strength and a weakness.

“Often times, towards the end of the first half is when things start to come together…they start out better in the second half.”

The Bulldogs booters have a couple of captains this year: Alex Schwalb and HashimGambari.

Schwalb’s take on the fledgling season?

“In comparison to last season we have a lot more potential and talent, along with speed.”

How about the game?

“Eldred did a great job of capitalizing on our mistakes… [but] we played with heart and didn’t give up at all”, replied Schwalb, a 17-year-old senior.

Yellow Jackets fourth-year coach Joshua Santoro summed up the game.

“We were aggressive, and put ourselves in the right position, and then it took off a little bit," he said.

Santoro tipped his cap to the opposition.

“I’ve got to hand it to them, they kept their composure and handled it very well… they turned it against us in the second half.”

His take on the squad’s strengths versus weaknesses:

“When we finally do put it all together and communicate very well, beautiful soccer happens," said Santoro.

So what about the other side of the ledger?

“We’re not consistent with putting it all together…we have a lot of youth, first time varsity players."

The Yellow Jackets are led on the field by a trio of captains: ChettKelty, Patrick Kinney and Anthony Banghart.

“It a great start, we all fought hard… [but] we need to be more proficient at passing," said Kelty, a 16-year-old 11th grader.


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