Thursday October 17, 2013 | By:Michael J. Petro | Sports
HEADER — North Collins’ defender Zane Lloyd gets up high for a header in a win against Pine Valley. Photo courtesy of Ron Larson.
In getting ready for the playoff push, the North Collins boys soccer team members said they are trying to treat every game and each moment within it like a championship is on the line.
The Eagles are focused on a 25th sectional title. North Collins avenged a 1-goal loss from earlier this season, with a 3 – 0 win against Frewsburg in a showdown between the top two teams in the Chautauqua Cattaraugus Athletic Association Central.
Frewsburg scored a 2 – 1 win against North Collins the first time the teams met. This time around, the Eagles improved to 9 – 2 – 2 overall and 8 – 1 – 2 in the reorganized CCAA Division. Frewsburg, a Class C team, is still a half game better, at 9 – 1 – 2, than its Class D counterpart in North Collins.
“Frewsburg is a nice team,” North Collins head coach Jay Walters said. “This was a good victory for us. At this point, every situation you’re in, you have to imagine that you’re in that championship game and you’re down and, if you get this series right, you can come right back.”
North Collins also extended a streak of holding opponents scorless to six games, with a freshman, Nathan Turnbull, in net. During that streak, the Eagles are 4 – 0 – 2 and have finished in scoreless ties with both Cattaraugus-Little Valley and Silver Creek/Forestville.
“[Frewsburg] had a serious challenge on our goalie in the last few minutes, but Nathan was there,” Walters said. “There’s a reason why they’re shutouts. He’s behind a pretty good defense, but he’s also a pretty good little goalie.
Senior Kyle Loretto, North Collins’ leading scorer, scored twice in the second half, to put away a game that was 1 – 0 at halftime. Loretto, a transformed goalkeeper who is now playing right striker, sits atop the team, with 10 goals.
“We challenge him. We expect the most from him, because he has the ability to do it,” Walters said, about Loretto.
After missing Friday’s game due to a prior obligation, Vincenzo Giancaspro did not start Monday’s contest, but 30 seconds after stepping on to the field as a substitute, he wasted little time in scoring. The senior exchange student netted his fifth goal of the season, off a set-up from center halfback Austin Winter.
Walters said he likes the way his team continues to develop, which includes communicating better and developing friendships. It’s a good group, he noted, and one that’s enjoyed maybe even a little more success so far than the perennially-strong squads of the past.
Before the playoffs start, the Eagles got another shot at Cattaraugus-Little Valley in the division finale on Oct. 16. They’ll meet St. Francis in a non-league game, before starting the postseason.
In that time, there remains plenty to work on, Walters pointed out. There were some key missed opportunities in the first half, which he said, by the playoffs, could be the difference between winning and losing.