St. Luke’s boys soccer beats King
STAMFORD — As St. Luke’s soccer player Alex Nerod made his way through multiple defenders it almost appeared certain the ball would be taken from him and cleared several times.
Nerod, however, kept fighting through two defenders, keeping the ball on his feet until finding some daylight, firing a shot from 10 yards out past the King keeper.
Nerod himself wasn’t even sure how he maintained possession through the traffic.
“I don’t really know what happened. I was just working harder than them, I guess,” Nerod said. “I was coming down and they were sloppy with their passes and I took advantage and stole one. It came up my chest and I headed it over them. The guy was initially ahead of me in the box but I worked one side, worked the other and tapped it in far side.”
St. Luke’s would add another goal on a 19-yard direct kick by Bear Crystal, defeating King 2-0 in Stamford Thursday.
The Storm were awarded the free kick just outside the top of the box after the King keeper dropped the ball outside of the 18, picking it back up outside the box for a hand-ball infraction.
The Storm (3-4) scored both goals in the first half, controlling possession for the majority of the first 40 minutes.
King made some advancements into Storm territory in the second half, but found space at a premium with six to eight players back protecting the lead.
“They didn’t give us much time and space to make decisions,” King coach Enzennio Mallozzi said. “We weren’t clinical in the final third. We had our opportunities. Once they got up they were able to sit back a little bit more but they were still putting a lot of pressure on our back line and to allowing us to easily move the ball around.”
It was the fourth straight loss for King (6-5-1), which walked off frustrated after a few lapses.
“It is hard to get guys forward with so many back,” King captain and midfielder Mikey Burke said. “We tried our best to counter but couldn’t. We put our best foot forward and the result is what it is. In the second half, we wanted to be more direct and go at goal, test the keeper and take more shots.”
The victory snapped a two-game losing streak for St. Luke’s.
St. Luke’s applied pressure to King by having its forwards pressure the ball before it left the King back line, not allowing the Vikings to get their offense started.
“We have had a couple of days off so out energy levels were quite high,” St. Luke’s coach Corey Gammill said. “We were a lot better in our defensive shape than we have been and we played fast on attack. We saw that they liked to play back to the goal keeper, so, we then took our pressure high so our front three would pressure the goalie and be on the defenders in the hopes that we’d force them into a mistake and then capitalize.”
ST. LUKE’S 2, KING 0
ST. LUKE’S 2 0—2
KING 0 0—0
Records: St. Luke’s 3-4; King 6-5-1. Goals: SL—Alex Nerod, Bear Crystal. Goalies: SL—Ryan Neafsey 10 saves; K—Mathew Goodfellow 9 saves