Spackenkill at Home 9/25

  • FDR: 3           Spackenkill: 1

      Habib Kamara, Greg Baluzy, Jordan Williams

    Assists:  Kevin Cerdas (2), Kareem Cerdas

    Saves:  Mike Bojko - 5 

    Coaches Notes:  You've seized the moment!  We spoke about opportunity in the team room before the game.  I explained that when opportunity knocks you must seize the moment or that opportunity may never present itself again.  I put the challenge on your shoulders and you guys responded with the biggest win of the season.  I'm so proud of everyone on the team.  Habib........thank you for shooting from outside the 18, that was one of the best goals of the season.  Reem and Greg, nice job making it happen on the second goal.  Great cross, great finish!  Jordan......... oh how I've missed having you on the field.  Big game, huge goal to put the game out of reach.  And Kevin........I still have to pinch myself every time I'm reminded that you're only in 9th grade.  Two assists as a 9th grader in a Spackenkill game.  That's unbelievable.  Nice job kid!  Now I know none of the goal scoring opportunities would be possible without the dominant play of our midfield.  Scottie, Pat, Reem, Bib, Baluzy, and Tyler all did an amazing job maintaining possession, starting goal scoring opportunities, and helping defend.  James Croft........or should I say WARRIOR DEFENDER!  You are the man!  That was your best performance of the season.  I feel so comfortable with you being the last man on D.  You played your heart out today.  Keto, Carroll, Koz, Gabel and Benji.....all of you guys were just as dominant on D today.  And Bojko.......nice job stepping up and proving that you are a Varsity level goalkeeper.  You made more than one game saving goal and were just as important as the guys who scored in helping us win.  Steigi, Darling, Demczar, Schim, and D-Tro......thank you for making sure I did not have an anxiety attack in front of the bench.  You guys play a role far more important then you may think each day.  You make us better each day and you guys are a big part of the future of this program.  Keep your heads up, stay positive, and be ready to contribute when called upon.  This was an amazing week of soccer gentlemen.  We have to keep rolling now.  Tough game next week against Red Hook.  Stay positive, play hard, and good things will happen.  We've just proved that with these past three wins.   

    Poughkeepsie Journal:
    By Sean T. McMann • Poughkeepsie Journal • September 26, 2008

    HYDE PARK -It took a moment for Gregory Baluzy to comprehend what had just happened.

    "I had to take and second to think that I actually got the goal," Baluzy, a sophomore midfielder with the boys' soccer team from Franklin D. Roosevelt High School, said Thursday.

    It was no mirage. Baluzy did indeed come up with his second goal of the year, his biggest so far this fall.

    In the 25th minute of the second half, Baluzy took a pass from Kareem Cerdas and booted the ball into the back of the net, scoring the game-winning goal in his Presidents' 3-1 victory over visiting Spackenkill.

    "It's a very big win for the local rivalry," said Roosevelt head coach Dan Cowan, whose Presidents improved to 9-1 overall, 7-1 in Mid-Hudson Athletic League play and 2-1 in MHAL Division 1 action. "This is a big morale-booster. It's always a tough game with them."

    Thursday was no different.

    With the game knotted at a goal apiece midway through the second half, Cerdas, a senior midfielder, drove down the right sideline with a defender in hot pursuit. He quickly served a centering pass into the middle of the field, where Baluzy received it inside the box and launched the ball past the Spartans' goalkeeper from 12 yards out.

    "I saw the ball go through, like, three people, and I was just so shocked the ball was coming to me," Baluzy said. "It was a great assist. It was a great cross, and I just hit it in the back of the net."

    Cowan knew the importance of Baluzy's tally.

    After the Spartans tied the game on Anthony Balbo's goal in the 13th minute after halftime, both defenses clamped down, thus making each offensive possession crucial and valuable.

    Each team's offense was then left to find its elusive second goal. The Presidents' coach said he was happy Baluzy secured it.

    "It was good to see him in the right position," Cowan said. "Sometimes I get a little frustrated, but he kept fighting and found himself in the right spot. He was disciplined to stay in his area.

    "To put that through, it was excellent to go up by one," added Cowan, whose Presidents later got an insurance goal from Jordan Williams in the game's waning moments. "Obviously, that last one, to go up by two, really makes you feel a bit more comfortable -not completely -but it was huge. That last goal shows that they didn't stop fighting."

    Nor did the defending state Class B champion Spartans (6-3 overall), who rebounded from an early hole when Habib Kamara put the home team ahead, 1-0, with his goal 31 minutes into the action.

    Balbo ties the game up

    When Balbo, a senior co-captain, tied the game early in the second half, Spackenkill head coach Manny Blanco said he thought his Spartans had turned the tide in their favor, only to see it sway back when an injury on the field halted play for several minutes.

    "I thought we picked up momentum. That's for sure," Blanco said. "But then there was that delay of game that kind of killed the momentum a little bit for us. It was hard for us to pick it up after that."

    Roosevelt's defense didn't do the Spartans any favors.

    Take the game's fourth minute, when Balbo broke away toward the goal, only to have a Roosevelt defender slide to take away the forward's progress ... not to mention the ball.

    Or the final minute of the first half, when Balbo blasted a shot from the right side, but saw Roosevelt goalie Mike Bojko dive to his right to block the try.

    "I'm pretty proud. We did a good job, and held it down," said senior defender Andrew Carroll, a Roosevelt co-captain.

    Added Cowan: "I give (Spackenkill) and Coach Blanco credit. They're the most talented team on our schedule every year. It was a good fight."

    On the other bench, Blanco wanted his players to learn from the loss -not just from the way they played on the field during the match, but also from how it affected them.

    "Roosevelt and Spackenkill have been rivals for years, and it's been back-and-forth every year," said the Spartans' coach, who lost junior midfielder Ryan Cox to a red card for rough play late in the second half. "It really stings when you lose, though. I want them to remember this feeling, so they don't let it happen again."

    Baluzy didn't want to let go of Thursday's feeling, either.

    Bolstered by the victory, he said his Presidents can build on the win as the season continues.

    "We all played pretty hard," Baluzy said, "and it's a big confidence-booster. So we all feel pretty confident that we'll win MHALs and sectionals and go on to states."