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Boys Soccer: Indians battle weather, Lincoln in playoff opener

Oct. 31, 2008


Written by J.B. Cozens   

Thursday, October 30, 2008
The John Jay boys soccer team’s biggest obstacle in last Saturday’s Class AA section playoff opener wasn’t visiting Lincoln. It was Mother Nature, as driving rain and gusting winds created tropical storm-like conditions. The fifth-seeded Indians had an easier time with Lincoln, notching a 4-1 victory that sent them into yesterday’s quarterfinal showdown with fourth-seeded Greeley.With the strong winds blowing south to north across the length of the field, it was nearly impossible to clear a ball in the air from the north end of the field.In the first half, it was visiting Lincoln that defended that end of the field — and on several occasions balls gone hung up in the wind and, in some cases, wound up going backwards.John Jay head coach Peter Neidell called the conditions “brutal”.“The conditions were probably the worst I have witnessed as a coach, player or spectator of the game of soccer,” he said.With the wind at its back, John Jay dominated the first half, taking a 3-0 halftime lead.Eric Pierre-Louis opened the scoring when he converted off a Gabe Stauber corner kick just two minutes into the game.The Indians had several great chances after that, with shots by Stauber and Pierre-Louis going just wide, and a Pierre-Louis penalty kick hitting the crossbar.But Pierre-Louis finally connected again midway through the first half with a well-placed left-footed shot from the top of the box, off an Andres Vargas assist.Late in the half, Ian de Ruiter scored on a determined individual effort, as he took a ball at midfield and then was tripped up by a Lincoln tackle, sending him to the turf. But he got back up, tracked the ball down, beat three defenders into the right side of the box and put a shot past the keeper to make it 3-0.Vargas closed out the John Jay scoring with a great goal midway through the second half — which actually saw conditions get worse.“The wind and rains picked up in the second half. The players said they couldn’t even look up at the ball in the second half due to the penetrating rain,” said Neidell.Luke Butcher was credited with three saves on the night, while Lincoln’s keeper made 12 saves. John Jay got solid defensive efforts from Bucky Illingworth, Kirtiman Weiss, Derek Wanek, Pierre-Louis, Kevin DeRaffele, Gabe Stauber, Hentry Stauber, Mike Doany, Justin DeLuca and Carl Treyz.




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