By JAMES A. ELLIS
AMSTERDAM - The Amsterdam boys soccer team has found a successful combination during the early-season games.
Gloversville goalkeeper Nick Cirillo punches the ball away as Amsterdam’s Anthony Stewart (2) and Andrew Druziak (1) close on the play during non-league action Thursday at Lynch Literacy Academy.
The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis
The Rams pushed their record to 4-1 overall with a 3-1 non-league victory over visiting Gloversville on Thursday afternoon at Lynch Literacy Academy.
"It started on day one at practice and they've worked hard for many years now, but it is all coming together at this point," first-year Amsterdam coach Adam Fetterly said.
Amsterdam dominated play and possession in the opening half of the non-league game.
All three of the Rams' goals came in a 15-minute span just past midway in the first half.
Andrew Druziak put Amsterdam on the board off an assist from Connor Kilgallen with 19:19 left in the half. Druziak picked up an unassisted goal, and Kilgallen finished off a pass from Anthony Stewart to put the Rams up 3-0 at the half.
"This is the first game we played the 4-3-3 with three forwards," Gloversville coach Paul Ligon said. "So we were a little off in the first half and we don't play on turf. We need to be able to adjust to turf faster than 40 minutes. The combinations, speed of the ball on turf and the speed of play on the turf all adds up."
The Dragons turned their game around in the second half, using passing combinations to create quality offensive opportunities.
The passing combination up front especially between C.J. DeVito and Thomas Kirk began clicking as they moved the ball against the Rams' defense.
Rams goalkeeper Jared Weissman came up with several strong plays both in the goalmouth and away from his line to keep Gloversville off the board.
Weissman was shaken up making a diving stop on a direct kick by Kirk with 24:26 left in the game. Weissman remained in goal until the 18:40 mark when Fetterly pulled Weissman in favor of Nick Caruso.
Caruso came up with a big save on a close range shot off Kirk's foot, but could not gather Kirk's 30-yard direct kick with 6:38 remaining as Gloversville cut the Rams' lead to 3-1.
The Dragons pushed to close the gap but the Amsterdam midfield began taking back control of the game to keep the Dragons in check and secure the non-league victory.
"They were beating us to every 50-50 ball in the first half," Ligon said. "We got outhustled, outphysicalled and they were pushing us around and we didn't fight back. The second half we won 1-0 and we didn't change anything other than upping the intensity. We started winning more balls in the air and winning more 50-50s and it started opening up the game a little bit. We have been struggling the last few games competing and today in the second half I thought we were competing."
For the game, Amsterdam out shot Gloversville 18-11. Dragons' goalkeeper Nick Cirillo collected 14 saves, while Weissman and Caruso combined for eight saves.
The Dragons will return to Foothills Council action Wednesday when they host South Glens Falls, while the Rams are slated to play Christian Brothers Academy today in a Big 10 contest.