ROTTERDAM — After the Mohonasen and Schalmont boys’ soccer teams had completed their post-game meetings, Sabres senior Sam Parisi strolled over to Mighty Warriors’ 12th-graders Evan Schmidt and Marcos Lopez, shook their hands and shared a few words, and then went on his way.
“That’s how it is,” Schmidt said of the brief exchange.
“On the field, it’s all about the rivalry, and you want to win,” Lopez chimed in. “Off the field, it’s good.”
On the Schalmont field Saturday, Mohonasen was better than it’s ever been during this “Fall II” soccer season.
Lopez scored his team’s first and last goals, and Schmidt notched a goal, picked up three assists and made a big defensive play as Mohonasen forged a 4-1 Colonial Council win over its Rotterdam neighbor.
The victory was only the second for Mohonasen
(2-4-0), but one that kept the Mighty Warriors unbeaten against the Sabres (4-3-1) since they joined the Colonial Council in 2018.
Mohonasen also beat Schalmont in a non-league game in 2017, and is 4-0-2 against the Sabres since then.
“We’ve never lost to them,” Schmidt said. “It’s definitely big.”
“It’s like Guilderland and Shenendehowa,” said Schalmont assistant coach Bob DiBella, who played goalkeeper in high school at Guilderland. “You beat them, and it makes your whole season.”
First-year Mohonasen coach Riley Ford gave plenty of credit to his defensive cast that includes freshman Tim Lopez at goalkeeper and Rorick Perry and Ryan Nadareski at the outside back positions. Lopez, who missed Mohonasen’s 3-1 win over Cobleskill-Richmondville on March 29 for academic reasons, made 12 saves for his first varsity win.
“They were putting their bodies on the line defensively. It was a very committed effort,” Ford said. “Schalmont had more chances. We had to withstand their pressure and get the ball to Evan and Marcos.”
Tim Lopez liked what he saw from all of his hustling teammates.
“They never stopped going after the ball. They were relentless,” he said, before adding. “The seniors didn’t want to lose.”
Marcos Lopez got his first goal on a breakaway 9:57 into the game from about 15 yards away, when Schalmont netminder Christian Tortorici came out, and the Mohonasen forward made a move around him and delivered the ball into an unprotected net.
“It was probably the most important goal of the day,” Marcos Lopez said. “It definitely gave us the momentum to keep pushing and keep up the intensity.”
Schmidt scored from close range with 15:26 left in the first half, and set up Dylan DePiero’s goal on a header 57 seconds into the second half with an arching pass from about 40 yards away on a free start. Schmidt had missed Mohonasen’s three previous games due to academic reasons.
“It was huge having Evan,” Ford said. “He was a huge help.”
Salmaan Haider scored for Schalmont 8:59 into the second half on a tap in after Tim Lopez stopped an initial drive by Parisi. Marcos Lopez turned a Schmidt feed into his second breakaway goal with 9:41 left, and missed out on a hat trick soon after when his drive sailed over the crossbar.
Shortly after Haider’s goal, Tim Lopez drew a yellow card for a push, and in Schmidt’s brief time filling in at goalkeeper, he jumped high and punched the ball away to deny a corner kick opportunity by Schalmont.
“Schalmont is a dangerous team on corner kicks,” Schmidt said. “If it dropped it could have been trouble.”
Halftime: Mohonasen led 2-0. Mohonasen scoring: M. Lopez 2-0, Schmidt 1-3, DePiero 1-0. Schalmont scoring: Haider 1-0. Goalies: Mohonasen, T. Lopez, 12 saves. Schalmont, Tortorici, 5 saves.