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Prep Soccer Roundup - September 26

Friday, September 22 and Saturday, September 23, 2017

stmarysGame #1: Rochester 2 St. Mary's 1

The Bison travelled to Rochester School for the Deaf for their annual homecoming tournament. In the first of a set of “round robin” match-ups, we just happened to be selected as the Wildcats first opponent. Both teams were playing stout defense. Christian Lawrence came up with some key saves in goal to keep the game competitive. Although the Wildcats had a 2-0 lead with just under 15 minutes left to play, Nick Barrus rang a shot off the oppositions cross bar and Givon Blackwell was in the perfect position and did an excellent job of following the shot and anticipating the rebound. Givon Blackwell headed the ball past their keeper for his first goal of the season and closed the gap to within one score. Despite a few more solid opportunities, we couldn’t tie the game and ended up suffering our first loss of the season.

Individual Stats:
Givon Blackwell: 1 goal
Christian Lawrence: 7 saves

Game #2: Ohio 8 St. Mary's 1

Despite having just played, the way the tournament format was created it forced our team into another game back to back against Division 1 powerhouse Ohio School for the Deaf. The Spartans appeared bigger, faster, stronger, and visibly fresher considering they hadn’t played a game yet. Our boys were already exhausted from a competitive contest against Rochester, not to mention that we were dealing with the temperature outside climbing into the upper 80’s. OSD dominated the game from start to finish. With no gas left in our tanks, we did our best to not give up despite our opponent scoring six unanswered goals in the first half and twice more in the second half. The coaches explained to our players during the halftime that games such as these are a true test of our teams character and our ability to stick together. It tests our patience and our ability to control our emotions. It should be noted that we weren’t shutout and with two minutes left in the match, Isa Habeeb was rewarded for his tenacity by scoring his first goal of the season with a shot that slipped through the goalies legs. Once again, the coaches gave our boys a lot of credit for hanging in there and getting through the game without giving up despite all of the adversity.

Individual Stats:
Isa Habeeb: 1 goal
Christian Lawrence: 16 saves

Game #3: St. Mary's 4 Pennsylvania 3 - 3rd Place

The following morning the Bison took on the Panthers from Pennsylvania School for the Deaf to determine 3rd place overall. Prior to the game, we explained to our players how our team’s character would be tested yet again in our ability to move on past yesterday’s double loss and focus on the task at hand. The coaching staff has always implemented the “24 hour” rule. Which states that our players have 24 hours to celebrate a win or get over a loss and then move towards putting their attention on the next opponent. We wanted to start fast and immediately attack the Panthers in an effort to put them back on their heels. Although we opened the game with a barrage of shots, only one of them got through from Nick Barrus. Unfortunately, our defense had pushed up a little too far and PSD caught us on a breakaway and knotted up the score 1-1 heading into halftime. After an exchange of goals by both teams in the second half, the Bisons were able grab the lead for good as a result of a direct kick from Kassim Kassim that found its way into the back of the Panthers net. The 4-3 victory gave us 3rd place overall. (Contributed by Head Coach Bryan Booke)

Individual Stats:
Nick Barrus: 3 goals
Kassim Kassim: 1 goal
Christian Lawrence: 11 saves

All-Tournament Team: Nick Barrus and Christian Lawrence

Saturday, September 23, 2017

lexingtonLexington 5 Rhode Island 1

First half: Christian Zitle (forward) made the first two goals. Jovanni Vega (forward) had two goals and Steve Salmon scored one goal. Tayqwan Richardson (goalie) did not have any saves due to our defense which has improved as they took control of the ball in the game. The first half ended with a score of 5-0 in our favor.

Second half: Jovanni Vega scored a goal. RISD scored a goal on a free kick. The game ended with a result of 6-1 in our favor. We sat our veteran players in the second half and gave a chance for the new players to develop more knowledge and to challenge them.

Our players have started to open up, getting more space to pass, and control the ball on the field. They still need to learn their set formation, play on their right positions, and to put pressure on the other team. (Contributed by Head Coach Gabriel Carino)

Prep Soccer Roundup - September 25

Saturday, September 23, 2017

rhode-islandLexington 5 Rhode Island 1

RISD Soccer Team traveled to Lexington School for the Deaf in NYC to play a soccer game last Saturday. Due to the heat wave, the referees gave us a water break halfway through each 40-minute halves and Lexington was kind enough to play 8 v 8 soccer as opposed to 11 since we only brought 11 players.

We started out slow in the first 20 minutes and allowed three quick goals. After the first water break, our players finally got their heads into the game and started playing much better. We were able to create some opportunities, but didn't convert on any of them. Lexington scored once more to build a 4-0 halftime lead.

Our adjustments during halftime seemed to work as our defense clamped down and didn't allow Lexington to attack as much as they used to. Jayden E. scored a great goal off a free kick for our first goal and we attacked the ball much more afterwards, but we were unable to push the ball into the net. Lexington scored once more before end of the game and the final score was 5-1.

RISD will next travel to NYSD-Fanwood on Wednesday, September 27th in search of our first win. (Contributed by Athletic Director Nathan Engel)

RISD 0-1 = 1
LEX   4-1 = 5

Jayden E.: 1 goal
Juan F-E.: 13 saves

Rochester edges Ohio to win Homecoming Championship

Friday, September 22 and Saturday, September 23, 2017

Contributed by RSD Coach Scott Lipitz

rochesterThe greatest part of high school sports is that "Will to Win" element that just can't be described in words, but only seen in person. Today, I had the honor and privilege to see the epitome of what it means to have the "Will to Win!" RSD put on an amazing show of pure grit, perseverance, and a relentless passion and desire against those Spartans of Ohio. These student-athletes showed their friends, family, and fans what it means to have a Heart of a Champion! For 44 minutes, these Wildcats literally gave every morsel of energy they had on that home pitch.

Rochester 2 St. Mary’s 1

However, before we delve into that game, let's rewind to the start of the weekend with our first match against our cross-town I-90 rival, Saint Mary's School for the Deaf (SMSD). This matchup always tends to be a heated, tense battle that goes down to the wire. This contest was no different than our previous encounters. With this being our first home game of the season, and with our beloved Mary Cook in attendance, this was an extremely emotional and important game for us. The coaching staff knew it, the student-athletes knew it, and the entire Rochester community knew it.

The blood, sweat and tears during the past couple weeks of practice was all for this very moment, this was our time to finally enjoy the fruits of our labor. Our team was prepared mentally and physically, and now was the time to put everything together and show the world who we are. We are RSD!

Once that first whistle blew, it was game on. We came out very aggressive and was pressuring SMSD's defense right away. However, due to our excitement and level of intensity, we couldn't quite get the touches we needed to get the ball in the right position to take our best shots. We had several shots early on, but nothing on target. SMSD, however, also came to play and definitely had a smart, strategic plan to keep us in check. For every attack we made, it seemed like SMSD had an answer.

However, midway through the first half, our very own Bode Aggas made a beautiful thru pass to Levi Ruper who easily converted it into a beautiful goal to give RSD a 1-0 lead! That goal set the tone for the remainder of the game. Both teams battled hard in the latter part of the half, but neither could convert, ending with a 1-0 score in the first half. On paper, our lead should have been greater, but we just couldn't capitalize on a few golden opportunities, possibly due to some home game opening jitters.

During halftime, the coaching staff calmed the team down, spoke about the importance of stretching the defense, using the touch lines and then sending it back into the middle. We also spoke about the urgency of needing more goals and that one goal wasn't enough to defeat SMSD. After rehydrating, getting our mind right, we march backed on that field with one sole purpose, S-C-O-R-E. Be relentless and score!

Even though our solid trio of Tre Vaughn, Thomas Coates, and Clarence Market were holding the fort down on our side of the pitch, we needed to be more aggressive and secure a comfortable lead. The team was amped and was prepared to battle for the next twenty-two minutes.

Right out of the gate, the Wildcats were the aggressors, but SMSD's defense also stepped up their "D" and was going toe to toe with us, keeping the ball out of their net. Whatever we threw at that them, they responded, causing some frustration, but we were too dialed in to get all caught up in it. However, halfway through the second half, Courtney Gentzke made a text-book cross pass to the middle where Levi made a great first touch on the ball to set up another shot on goal that found the back of the net! With that goal, we were able to finish the game victorious, winning 2-1. Unfortunately, we lost Bode Aggas to a sprained ankle, but both, Bryn Huggings and DJ Walshvelo stepped up and played remarkably well throughout the game.

Goals: Ruper 2.
Assists: Gentzke 1, Aggas 1.

Rochester 6 Pennsylvania 2

With that victory, we moved onto Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (PSD). A win would guarantee us into the Homecoming Championship Game. When the team heard this, they were zoned in and ready to make the magic happen. We were able to study their game against SMSD and knew exactly where they were weak, and how to exploit those weaknesses.

Our game plan worked exactly how we envisioned it would. We dominated from the first whistle to the last whistle. Due to our dominant performance on PSD, we were able to get our up and comers, Bryn Huggins, Isaac Perez, and DJ Walshvelo some quality experience on the battlefield.

We had some great highlights in our 6-2 victory that I would love to share that is worth mentioning. In the first half, Levi made an amazing cross in the dead middle of the goal where Alexander Michalek made an Abby Wambachesque header that made the entire home crowd erupt in pure joy. One of the prettiest goals I have had the privilege to witness during my decade long tenure here as a soccer coach.

Another moment worth mentioning is when our very own Isaac Perez made one heck of a pass to Levi, who found the back of the net. This marked Isaac's first ever assist in a Varsity soccer game! It was a historic moment in which the entire team congratulated him immediately after the feat. It was a great occasion where the team came together and showed true RSD Wildcat Spirit! That assist was more than just an assist, but a memory that will last forever. We, the coaching staff, were deeply honored to play a small part in that happening!

Goals: Ruper 3, Michalek 2, Gentzke 1.

Assists: Ruper 1, Walshvelo 1, Perez 1, Michalek 1.

Rochester 1 Ohio 0 - Championship

With that performance, RSD earned their coveted spot into the Championship Game against the undefeated Ohio School for the Deaf Spartans! As alluded to earlier, this game was a test of wills! Everything we have done up to this point, was for this exact moment. The stakes were high, but the Wildcats was prepared for this very task.

They were the bigger, faster, and stronger team for sure. No one will ever refute that, but luckily for us, "this wasn't a math test. This was a completely different kind of test. A test where passion has a funny way of trumping logic!" This is exactly what happened today in front of our home crowd. It was a game for the ages.

In the first half, OSD were the aggressors and putting the pressure on us. They had two incredibly talented soccer players who were doing an exceptional job at keeping the ball on our side of the field. What this team didn't realize is that we weren't just playing for pride, nor the thrill of victory, but to honor our beloved athletic director, teacher, and coach, Mary J. Cook. That was our "X-factor" that OSD, nor any team could have ever prepared for! OSD's athletic talents and skills paled in comparison to our heart, pride, and love for MC! The entire team raised the bar for this very game, and they were going to do everything within their own power to make sure we prevailed when that clock ticked 0:00.

Unfortunately, OSD had a different script in mind and had no problem in being the spoiler. They didn't travel over six hours to come in second. With that, the barn burner continued. After 22 minutes, we were still at a deadlock, 0-0. One of the most exciting scoreless halves I've seen in a very long time.

At intermission, we were still poised, confident, optimistic and still energized. Adrenaline was still kicking in for us which was good. We needed all the chutzpah we could get from our Wildcats. We were playing a very tactical defensive minded game, but this prevented us from doing anything on the offense. The coaching staff urged that we needed to push up and play more aggressive on offense, we can't just play defense, in hopes OSD fails at every opportunity. We needed to make our own offensive opportunities. Our defense was playing extremely well supporting one another, with midfield coming back to help, but we needed to take a few more chances if we wanted to come out victorious. It's extremely hard to win a soccer game with only taking 3 shots on goal. We needed to make more offensive opportunities.

The second half was no different. OSD's offense was just relentless and kept the ball on our side of the field. However, in one transition from our keeper to offense, we somehow got the ball from Michalek to upfield to Ruper who got into a 1 on 1 situation with their left fullback. With just one juke, Ruper was able to fire the shot that was heard around the world! Levi Ruper snuck in the game leading goal, breaking the 0-0 tie!!!! The home crowd jolts out of their seats, hands are waving, people are screaming, just pure pandemonium coming from the sidelines. RSD was rejuvenated, and ready to battle for the last 15 minutes.

At this point, OSD had two options, fold up shop, or step up, and step up is what they did. They put what seemed to be an insurmountable pressure on our defense that forced RSD to play precise, perfect, intense defense. Everyone was forced to support one another on D. Tre Vaughn took leadership in the back and made sure to communicate to everyone their role. They were firing shots from the left, the right, the middle, and they just kept coming at us, and at us, and at us, but we kept coming up big defensively. If it wasn't Thomas Coates making a stop, it was Clarence, or Alexander, or Tre, or Courtney. It was just a complete team effort, and when that final whistle blew, we could finally take a breath and smile. WE WERE HOMECOMING CHAMPIONS!! The impossible became possible, and we prevailed in what could have been the Greatest Homecoming Win ever in RSD History! Kudos to OSD to pushing us to our brink and then more! We tip our hats to them as they played an incredible game. We just happened to be the better team this time.

Earning his first varsity BAGEL (shutout) in goal was our very own Ben Radez! What an amazing emotional, fun weekend for RSD. Our team really came together, everyone stepped up their game, and we just happened to take home the 1st place trophy which is always a great feeling to do in front of the home crowd. Earning All-Star honors were Tre Vaughn, Thomas Coates, and Levi Ruper. However, in our eyes, EVERYONE was an All-Star. What was accomplished today was a culmination of everyone doing their own share and playing their role to the best of their ability. We're extremely proud of this team, and we look forward to the remainder of the season!

Goals: Ruper 1.

Prep Soccer Roundup - September 23

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

new-yorkLexington 2 New York 1

Fernando Tejada (Goalie) had seven saves and Alnord Deski had four saves. Christian Gonzalez scored one goal on five shots and Jesus Perez had one assist in the second half game.

Our next game will be at American School for the Deaf on Tuesday, September 26th. (Contributed by Head Coach Paul Ditimi)

LEX 2-0 = 2
FAN 0-1 = 1

Prep Soccer Roundup - September 22

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

lexingtonLexington 2 New York 1

Lexington improved their ball control in the game against Fanwood. We started to pass the ball to the open positions. We did a great job for our game on the road. (Contributed by Head Coach Gabriel Cariño).

First half: David Perez - 2 goals, Tayqwan Richardson - 4 saves.

Second half: Tayqwan Richardson - 1 save.

LEX 2-0 = 2
FAN 0-1 = 1

Prep Soccer Roundup - September 21

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

rochesterChristian Central 2 Rochester 1

Today, was another wild ride for RSD, so you may want to take a seat for this one. The Wildcats took another long drive out to Williamsville, NY to take on the Christian Central Academy (CCA) on their home field. However, after making the long haul, we were surprised to find out there was a scheduling conflict and had to hop back on the bus and travel down the road to a different field.

Due to this slight mixup, Coach Lipitz had to strap on his running sneaks, dust off his Fox-40, and put on the Zebra stripes to help officiate this non-league game (now officially a scrimmage) with the other coach. Regardless, the game went on without a hitch with a modification in the amount of time per half. Due to the late start, both coaches agreed to play two short 25 minute halves.

Right from the start, both teams played with purpose and precision. CCA was definitely the more tactical team, but RSD was definitely more athletic in general, creating a very exciting, neck and neck game. Both teams early on had some great opportunities. Bode Aggas had a few open shots on goal between the 12' and 18' due to the amazingly accurate cross passes from Courtney Gentzke. Unfortunately, each one was off target or the goalie scooped it up. On the other side of the pitch, Goalie Phenom, Benjamin Radez raised the bar yet again and came up big on many occasions. The man was a legit wall out there, making some great saves.

In a blink of an eye, the first half ended, and ended in a standstill, 0-0. The coaching staff was extremely proud of the first half, especially with the circumstances on how we started. During halftime, the coaching staff was able to finally give some important feedback where we saw gaps and holes in the opposing team. We knew we had to stretch out their D and then cross it inside to the middle where we could capitalize and take some quality shots.

With 25 minute halves, we knew we didn't have much time, and would have to play with urgency if we wanted to come out on top. However, CCA also made their own adjustments. It was CCA who came out full force, pressuring our defense down the middle. Within the first few minutes, one of their CCA athletes was on a 1 on 1 breakaway with our goalie, and they ended up in a slight collision with the ball finding the back of the net. However, a foul was called by the opposing coach, and RSD was awarded a free kick. This was the wake-up call RSD needed, and from that moment on RSD took it up a notch and started to play more aggressively. With that, it was the WILDCATS storming up the field with tenacity, accurate passes, and we finally converted on a missile from our very own Alexander Michalek who found the top corner of the net, 8 minutes into the second half. However, there was still ample time for CCA to make their own magic.

Unfortunately, for the Wildcats, their #4 who was not only an athlete, but was also a talented soccer player was able to make some magic of his own. After making his way through two of our solid defenders, he was able to chip in a simple shot to the corner to tie the game with 12 minutes left. With the score 1-1 , it was a back and forth battle. With just a few minutes later, #4 was able to zig-zag his way through our defense and find the back of the net again to take a 2-1 lead.

However, during the last few minutes of the game, one of the biggest highlights of the season happened. Yes, #4 again, snuck through our D and had a beautiful 1 on 1 breakaway against Mr. Radez. 99% of the time, this would be another guaranteed goal, but this time when #4 took a solid shot to the corner, it was Radez who made a spectacular diving save. Immediately after the save, out of pure respect, CCA applauded the save and this literally kept RSD alive in the game. However, at this point, time was not on our side, and we just ran out of time.

The coaching staff was extremely proud and happy with what we were able to do with the circumstances that were given. Now, we look forward to Homecoming Weekend where we'll be able to get everyone into the game for extended periods of time. (Contributed by Coach Scott Lipitz)

American 6 Rhode Island 0

americanAmerican - We struggled a little during the first half due to two starters who were not playing. After that, we started to play better and eventually pulled out two players to let the defense improve their performance. (Contributed by Head Coach Curt Hayward)

rhode-islandRhode Island - We were very lucky that Hurricane Jose decided to travel away from the coast, which helped the weather to hold up. We had twelve players, so we only had one sub available. Our defense improved greatly from our first to second game and held ASD to just two goals in the first half.

We shuffled some players around in the formation during halftime, which gave us more scoring opportunities but we were not able to convert on any of them. ASD scored four more goals in the second half, two during the last ten minutes when fatigue set in on our team. ASD won the game by the final score of 6-0. We hope to build upon our progress when we next travel to New York to play Lexington this Saturday. (Contributed by Athletic Director Nathan Engel)

western-pennsylvaniaWestern Pennsylvania 3 Ohio 1

Head Coach Val Wojton had this to say for the Ohio squad. “Even though it's Ohio School for the Deaf's first game, they proved that they are "battle-tested" for us. We won this tough game, 3-1.”

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