GLOVERSVILLE - A competitive, back-and-forth battle between the Gloversville Dragons and Amsterdam Rams ended abruptly Saturday, as Taliq Sims netted the game-winning goal for Amsterdam just 10 seconds into the overtime period. The Rams took the contest by a score of 2-1.
With the game tied 1-1, Amsterdam controlled the overtime kickoff and wasted, quite literally, no time in pushing through the Gloversville defense. Sims found himself in space and squeaked a shot past Gloversville goalkeeper Kyle Royal. The crowd reaction was mixed, as both schools were well represented at Gloversville High School.
"Any time it's Gloversville versus Amsterdam, whether it's football or soccer, it's always well contested," said Gloversville head coach Paul Ligon. "I thought both teams played hard. It could have went either way tonight."
Amsterdam’s Taliq Sims, left, moves the ball while under pressure from Gloversville defender Brendon Jablonski (24) during Saturday’s non-league match at Gloversville High School. (The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan)
The two teams played a scoreless first half and it was the Dragons that found themselves with plenty of chances offensively. Midway through the half, Carmello Piazza passed the ball to Josh Young who immediately tapped it over to a streaking Thomas Kirk. The Rams' defense poked the ball away before Kirk could get a good look. With 10 minutes remaining in the half, Vincent Scott crossed a ball towards the net after sprinting and tracking it down short of the endline while draped by an Amsterdam defender. Rams keeper Dylan Smith made a leaping grab before a Dragon could redirect it. Scott ripped a shot a few minutes later, but Smith made a diving save to keep the game tied 0-0. Seconds later, Kirk found himself with a wide open shot but curved it wide right as the home crowd let out a collective sigh.
Amsterdam got four shots off in the half, two of which were saved by Royal. "I thought we played well the first half," said Ligon. "We got a little run around in the second half. They found some holes."
The Rams found their first hole one minute in when Greyson Mullins tapped a ball from the right of the goal that found the back left corner of the net to give Amsterdam a 1-0 advantage.
Kirk, who had been on the wrong end of some disappointing runs in the first half, redeemed himself quickly in the second. Four minutes after the goal by Mullins, Kirk rocketed a ball perfectly over the leaping arms of Smith from around 30 yards away to tie the game at one apiece.
The goal by Kirk would be Gloversville's last shot on goal of the game, as Amsterdam tightened up their defense and heavily controlled the time of possession as the half pressed on. Despite a near-10 minute stretch near the end of the half where Amsterdam controlled the ball at their offensive half of the field, Adam Sleezer and the Gloversville defense kept the Rams at bay until Sims' game-winner in overtime. Sleezer came up especially big Saturday with a wide variety of chase downs, sliding tackles, and timely headers for the Dragons.
"It was definitely played between the 18's," said Ligon. "There was some nice possession until the final third and we were both struggling getting off some quality shots. It was a good high school soccer game."
Amsterdam outshot Gloversville 11-7 in the game. Royal made three saves for the Dragons while Smith saved four balls for the Rams.
Gloversville will look to rebound in Broadalbin-Perth Monday at 7 p.m. Amsterdam's next action will come Tuesday on the road against LaSalle.
Broadalbin-Perth 2, Schuylerville 0
BROADALBIN - Francesco Mastrocinque and Justin Marek accounted for the Patriots' scoring as they handed Schuylerville its first loss of the season Saturday night at Broadalbin-Perth High School.
Mastrocinque scored early in the second half to and Marek finished off a combination pass between Mastrocinque and Austin Famiglietti with 17 minutes left in regulation.
Broadalbin-Perth's Devin Page and Schuylerville's Clay Magnusen both made five saves in net.
B-P held a 12-9 edge in shots on goal and a 6-4 advantage in corner kicks.
Western Athletic Conference
OESJ 3, Duanesburg 2
ST. JOHNSVILLE - Johnny Vicciarelli hit the game-winner for the Wolves with 1:26 left in regulation to give OESJ the win.
Brad Smith and Devan Battisti also scored for the Wolves, while Vicciarelli and Nick Dantonino had assists.
Chris Smalls and Mitchell Hulbert accounted for the Duanesburg scoring.
Nate Trumbull made five saves in net for OESJ, while Brett LaBelle made 18 stops for Duanesburg.
Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk 2, Fonda-Fultonville 0
RAVENA - John Alverson and Iancarios Reuter connected for second-half goals to lift the Indians to victory.