By Nathan Mayberg
MONTICELLO October 21, 2005 Goshen, one of the best boys soccer teams in Section IX, used two early goals by leading scorer and senior Tom Ribitzki on Wednesday afternoon to gain momentum and hold off a worthy challenge by host Monticello.
As a result, the Gladiators posted a 3-0 victory in the Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division III match.
Ribitzki, one of the top goal scorers in the section, nailed them both from within short range in the opening minutes of the game. The first was on a pass from fellow senior Rob Burnett. The second was on a penalty kick.
Goshen (13-1, 4-0 Division III) won the game with a quick, aggressive style of play. Their defenders routinely kept the ball out of their own zone with long kicks.
Senior standout Alec Parker scored the other Goshen goal on a broken up play directly in front of the Monticello net.
The team also saw fine efforts from Tim Anderson, Devin Carpenter, who both displayed solid ball control. Sophomore Jean Rene Francois could be a major force in the area in the future. He had excellent footwork and at times was able to control the ball almost at will.
Despite not scoring any goals, Monticello (4-7-2, 2-2-1 Division III) played hard overall. The Panthers had a superb effort from senior Piero Pelosi, who was all over the field in the first half. Sophomore Sean Conaty showed quickness and promise. Another top player was senior Angelo Cracchiolo, who flashed great speed and ball control.
Monti goalie Dennis Stafford made 19 saves on the afternoon.
As a team though, the Gladiators were quicker and able to control the ball more. They had a deeper bench, and kept more fresh players on the field for the length of the match. Goshen seemed to wear down the Panthers near the end of the contest.
Being aggressive and quick on the ball is our game plan, Goshen Coach Michael Kelly said.
He credited the 11 seniors, who comprise 50 percent of the team, as being another reason for his teams success.
Right now, we feel good, Kelly commented. We just want to stay healthy. I feel good about our direction. Its not a ridiculous thought to get to [the state tournament.] Then, anything can happen. The pressure is off. On our best day, we can play with anybody in the state.
Goshen, which is currently in first place in the OCIAA Division III standings, has four more games to go in the regular season.
The Panthers are in second place in the division.
Monticello Coach John Maranzana commended Goshen for being a very good team.
They are well-skilled and well- coached, he said. We had some good performances. They got to a very fast start. It was tough to get back from that.
He credited the Gladiators for their ability to keep possession of the ball.
My kids played hard, Maranzana added.
Maranzana noted that his team still has a chance to qualify for the upcoming Section IX tournament if they defeat or tie Cornwall on Monday. That contest is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. in Monticello.