Boys soccer bounces back from a 0-2 start


Joe Kaplan

It took some time, but Coach Alex Pasucci finally got his first win against Summit on Saturday, Oct. 17. After the boys soccer team had to suspend all activities for two weeks due to a COVID-19 outbreak, as well as coming up short to Elizabeth at home, SPF was able to put up their first win against Summit with a dominant score of 5-2. 
“It feels good,” Coach Passucci said. “It’s always nice to get a win. We’re taking small steps and I think the guys today had a solid performance.”
SPF started off rough on the offensive side of the ball. It was difficult to control the ball early, but on the defensive side they managed to control Summit’s push down the field. 
Midway through the first half, the Raiders took control of the game. Senior Gabe Bachman in his first start rewarded Passucci’s faith in him, as he scored the opening goal to put the Raiders up by one. Although this was great to see from Bachman, Passucci noted that Bachman is dealing with a hamstring injury. He would be subbed out minutes after scoring.
After the Raiders conceded a free kick goal, bringing the score to 1-1, SPF caught a lucky break as the Summit goalie made a costly error. Senior Dylan Dombrowksi lobbed the ball into the box for someone to potentially head it in. Many thought the play was dead as the Summit goalie touched the ball, but they were mistaken. The ball went through the hands of the goalie and went into the back of the net. Summit never seemed to gain any sort of momentum after that.
Fantastic performances off the bench from Chris Colasanti and Isaac Tu allowed the Raiders to dominate in the attacking third and score three goals in the second half.   
“We continue to evaluate,” Passucci said. “We have guys that are working hard and are doing well during the training session. I thought Isaac Tu was the man of the match for us. Chris did well and found the back of the net and that’s what we need. We need everyone to contribute.” 
Although SPF pulled off a significant win against Summit, there are always things the Raiders need to improve upon. Summit’s two goals came from free kicks. These were key moments that Passucci mentioned SPF had to make greater efforts towards throughout the game. 
“Summit is dangerous on set pieces,” Passucci said. “So we are going to have to prepare and do a better job with that.”
Captains Eric Watt and Joey Linder were dealing with minor injuries after the loss to Elizabeth and it showed today against Summit. In the first half, Watt didn’t look one-hundred percent as he was dealing with minor cramps early on. Captain Joey Linder was on the sideline for the majority of the game, which Passucci attributed to soreness from the Elizabeth game on Thursday.  During the second half however, Eric Watt’s leg cramps disappeared, as he delivered two incredible goals and one great assist to Colasanti. Coach Ben Stuart of Summit wasn’t pleased with how SPF exploded in the second half.
“We needed to play through all eighty minutes,” Stuart said.“We were good through parts of it, but they took over in the second half.” 
SPF boys soccer hopes to see the same production when they face Summit on the road on Tuesday, Oct. 20, at 7:00 PM. 
Photo courtesy of John Mooney.