Boys Soccer Roundup: Amsterdam gets past Johnstown, 2-1

Amsterdam's Randy Spraker (10) and Johnstown's Zach Serpa (5) battle for position as they chase down a loose ball during Tuesday's Foothills Council match at the Lynch Literacy Academy in Amsterdam. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)

AMSTERDAM — Coming off a solid victory over Gloversville on Friday, the Johnstown boys soccer team went to Amsterdam looking for a second-straight Foothills Council victory.

However, the Sir Bills could not recover from an early goal by the host Rams, despite playing a man down for most of the match, collected a second goal to pick up their first win of the season 2-1 Tuesday night at the Lynch Literacy Academy field.

“I think we just struggled getting off the bus,” Johnstown coach Tom Horning said. “This is a great group of guys and we saw that Friday when they put a heck of a game together. They just couldn’t do anything today. You have your on days and your off days, but it is just unfortunate that it had to look something like that, getting a little chippy, and with a man down.”

Amsterdam (1-2-0) opened the game with an upbeat tempo and put together a possession game that kept the Sir Bills from building an attack.

Just over 90 seconds into the game, Dwight Rose spilt a pair of Johnstown defenders with a through ball that put Kevin Vargas one-on-one with Johnstown goalkeeper Josh Hoyt. Vargas slipped the ball past Hoyt as he challenged the play to give the Rams a quick 1-0 advantage.

Amsterdam goalkeeper Matt Crounse dives to knock away a centering pass intended for Johnstown's Tucker O'Connor (9) from Charlie Brown (17) during Tuesday's Foothills Council match at the Lynch Literacy Academy in Amsterdam. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)

“That is exactly what I said to these guys, we need to come out and put one in quickly and follow up with a second one quickly,” Amsterdam coach Chris Modelowski said. “The second didn’t happen but the first we got. We tend to start off slow a lot and work into the game. Once we get confident we know we can play with the teams. We have to change that mentality and know we are going to win right off the bat. It was much better today.”

The Sir Bills began building an attack and putting pressure on the Rams defense only to be kept wide, resulting in a series of corner kicks they were unable to capitalize on.

The game took a turn just over midway through the opening half when Johnstown’s Charlie Brown got past the Amsterdam defense and raced Amsterdam goalkeeper Ian Healy to the ball.

Both players arrived at the ball about 20 yards away from the goal and both slid to win the 50-50 ball. When Brown and Healy collided at the ball, the contact sent the ball wide and hit Healy’s hand resulting in a hand ball just outside the penalty area.

However, the referee pulled a red card on Healy because, in his judgement, Healy reached for the ball to deliberately stop the ball from heading toward goal.

Amsterdam's Jake Palczak challenges Johnstown's Zach Serpa (5) for control of the ball along the sideline during Tuesday's Foothills Council match at the Lynch Literacy Academy field in Amsterdam. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)

With the call, Amsterdam lost its starting goalkeeper and played the remainder of the match a man down with Matt Crounse coming on to replace Healy in net.

The Sir Bills created an opportunity just before the end of the half when Brown sent a cross into the box that Tucker O’Connor redirected on goal only to have the shot turned away. The rebound landed on the foot of Zach Serpa, who quickly fired a shot on net that sailed just wide of the mark, sending the match into halftime with the Rams clinging to a 1-0 lead.

Amsterdam worked quickly to build a two-goal advantage and got it just under five minutes after the second-half kickoff.

Randy Spraker won a ball near midfield and fed it forward to Vargas, who beat his defender before slipping the ball behind the Johnstown defense to put Rose one-on-one with Hoyt. Vargas was able to slip the ball past Hoyt as he charged and slid in an attempt to stop the play to put Amsterdam up 2-0 with 35:36 left in regulation.

“That is what I have been preaching,” Modelowski said. “In the preseason I talked about how we have guys who have that talent. It is not just work, it is work with talent. A nice touch on a through ball after a nice build up . . . I have been preaching that if you win the ball and possess the ball, then you can create. If you are defending for 70 minutes you can’t create.”

With the Sir Bills pushing to break through for a score and the Rams stepping up to meet the challenge, the game began getting physical, resulting in a pair of yellow cards being issued to both teams.

The Sir Bills got the score they were pushing for with 10:17 left to play when contact between Brown and Amsterdam defender Antonio Reyes resulted in Reyes being called for a push in the penalty area.

Brown stepped up to convert on the penalty kick to put the score at 2-1.

Johnstown continued to push for the equalizer but was able to get it as the Rams survived the late-game surge for their first win of the season.

“We have talked a lot about giving 100 percent no matter what goes on and I guess that was the perfect way for us to gel as a team and trust each other,” Modelowski said. “We worked for 60 minutes down a man and even scored a goal. The goal we gave up was a 50-50 penalty kick. We almost had a clean sheet without that. Matt Crounse did a great job in goal. He basically practiced in goal the first week of preseason and he hasn’t been in goal since. He stepped up big and did everything I could ever ask for. The refs really made it rough on us tonight but it happens.”

For the match, Amsterdam held an 8-7 edge in shots on goal, while the Sir Bills had five corner kicks and Amsterdam had one.

“That was one of my biggest things that I brought up at halftime, we had a little bit of size on some of the guys and we still couldn’t win the ball in the air,” Coach Horning said. “Amsterdam was winning both white and purple free kicks and that is a problem trying to win a game without that.”

Hoyt recorded five stops in goal, while Healy and Crounse combined for five saves for Amsterdam.

Johnstown (1-2-0) will prepare to travel to face undefeated Hudson Falls (3-0), a 2-1 winner over South Glens Falls, on Thursday, while The Rams will travel to play South High (2-3-0, 2-1-0) on Thursday.

Foothills Council

Broadalbin-Perth 4, Scotia-Glenville 2

SCOTIA — Brady Goodemote scored twice and had an assist to lead Broadalbin-Perth to a Foothills Council victory over Scotia-Glenville

Quinten Boehme and Cameron Polikowski also scored for the Patriots, while Jared Eipp and Hunter Monks each had an assist.

Jared O’Conner and Jacob Rousseau scored for Scotia-Glenville.

Jack Marsden made three saves for B-P (1-1 overall, 1-1 Foothills).

Schuylerville 6, Glens Falls 0

SCHUYLERVILLE — Michael Lanfear netted a hat trick to lead Schuylerville to a Foothills Council victory over Glens Falls.

Ian Winchell scored twice for the Black Horses, while Christian Petralia also scored.

Lanfear and Zach Saddlemire each had an assist for Schuylerville (2-1 Foothills).

Drew Phillips made four saves to post the shutout in goal for the Black Horses.

Ben Difiore made nine stops for Glens Falls (1-2 Foothills).

Hudson Falls 2, South Glens Falls 1

SOUTH GLENS FALLS — For the first time since 2002, Hudson Falls posted a Foothills Council victory over South Glens Falls.

James Prakelt and Alex Varney scored for the Tigers, while Ryan Melucci had an assist.

Andrew King scored the lone goal for South Glens Falls on an assist form Bobby Bruschini.

Justin Fenton made eight saves for Hudson Falls (3-0 overall, 2-0 Foothills), while Sebastian Maynard made two saves for South Glens Falls (2-3 overall, 2-1 Foothills).

Non-league

Dolgeville 5, Canajoharie 1

DOLGEVILLE – Owen Davies scored twice to lead Dolgeville to a non-league victory over Canajoharie.

Chyle Grossman, Jacob Cargen and Jacob Null also scored for the Blue Devils, while Andrew Risley added an assist.

Jacob Nowalk scored the lone goal for Canajoharie on an assist from Nick Shariff.

Brian Lamphere made 21 saves for Dolgeville.

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