By Rob Potter
MONTICELLO November 2, 2001 Fallsburg advanced to the Section IX Class C boys soccer semifinals with a 3-0 shutout victory over Sullivan West Tuesday.
The game, played at the neutral site of Monticello High School, featured a minimum of offense as the respective defenses and weather limited goal-scoring opportunities.
Ever cognizant of how important any and all goals are in a sectional contest, the defenders on both teams kept close marks on their opponents. A stiff breeze from the southwest limited the flight of the ball, making shorter passes essential.
Despite those conditions, Fallsburg (13-2-1) wasted little time in getting on the scoreboard. With just 1:06 elapsed in the contest, Fallsburgs Tony Ruiz-Diaz scored an unassisted goal to give the Comets a quick 1-0 lead.
Near the end of the half, Fallsburg doubled its lead. With 2:50 left until the break, Christian Huezo beat SW goalie Matt Pomes with a high shot to the corner of the net. Bakary Ceesay was credited with an assist on the goal.
In the second half, Sullivan West (8-9-1) was forced to go into the wind.
We took the wind in the second half, Fallsburg coach Paul Marsden said. And that made it difficult for Sullivan West to move the ball into the offensive end.
Marsden also noted that the defense did a good job in the contest.
And the early goal helped the Comets cause as well.
That was a big goal, Marsden commented. Tony put the ball between the post and crossbar and it just creased the crossbar as it went in.
Ruiz-Diaz added a second goal midway through the second half. He gained control of the ball and moved past a Bulldog defender and behind Pomes as he came out to challenge the shot. Ruiz-Diaz then kicked the ball into the far corner of the net.
We didnt get a lot of good looks at the goal today, SW coach Howie Whitmore said.
Those limited goal-scoring opportunities and their own mistakes were too much for SW to overcome.
I told the team last night whichever team made fewer mistakes today would probably win and thats about what happened, Whitmore said. We played some good games this season and some not-so-good ones. Today was not one of our best ones.
Fallsburg registered eight shots on goal, compared to six for SW. Pomes was credited with three saves, while Fallsburg goalie Lionel White had one save in the contest.
Fallsburg had an advantage in corner kicks, 9-3.
Note: The Comets sectional semifinal match versus Pine Plains yesterday took place too late for inclusion here. Please see Tuesdays Democrat for the result.