SCOTIA — The Scotia-Glenville boys’ soccer team just might make that long playoff run it desires if it can continue to win those small battles.
The Tartans won a bunch of them all over the field Wednesday and got big offensive games from Kofi Jack and Xavier DeLuca in a 10-1 Section II tournament Class A first-round win over Lansingburgh.
“The aim is to have those two take over the game,” Scotia-Glenville coach Keith Jack said of his son and DeLuca, both juniors. “If they’re playing that way, we’re difficult to beat.”
For long stretches Scotia-Glenville (No. 6 seed, 10-5-0) performed well in its defensive zone, had strong midfield play that kept the ball pointed toward the Lansingburgh cage, and cashed in when opportunities were there. Kofi Jack and DeLuca both finished with four goals, Noah Murdock and Tim Graves both added one, and Connor Raven and Jack both collected a trio of assists.
“Our motto is we’re not trying to win the game, but win every play,” Keith Jack said. “I believe if you win every play, you will win the game. If you win most of the plays, you’ll have a real good chance to win the game. It seems like that’s settling home.”
Scotia-Glenville played its best ball in the 40 minutes that bridged the halves in the first playoff game for all of the Tartans except for Kofi Jack, Raven and Ryan LaPoint. LaPoint and Graves are the lone seniors on the roster.
“They’ve been waiting for this their whole soccer careers,” Kofi Jack said of the first-time playoff cast. “Once they got here, they knew what to do.”
That strong midfield work gave Kofi Jack and DeLuca an opportunity to do their offensive thing. Jack produced three goals in the first half when the Tartans built a 5-0 lead, and DeLuca notched three goals in the put-away second half.
“Our midfield played a good overall game,” Keith Jack said. “You have kids out there like Quinn Fasciglione who has the job of hustling and fighting and winning the ball. Across the field we have a lot of kids like that.”
“We all work together to get the ball up to shooting position,” Kofi Jack said.
The Tartans also made sure Lansingburgh (No. 11, 4-10-1) never built any offensive momentum. The Knights lone score came late in the second half when their goalie, Logan Voter, connected on a penalty kick after a Tartans’ foul.
“In the beginning of the game we had a few chances,” Lansingburgh coach Chris Miron said. “They locked down on us.”
“On defense it was a whole team effort,” said Raven, a junior sweeper. “We were able to talk a lot on the field and that helped us keep our shape. That was important. When the ball goes over our heads we’re vulnerable.”
Scotia-Glenville went over and through the Lansingburgh defense often. Kofi Jack turned a Murdock feed into a breakaway goal to begin the scoring five minutes in. Jack’s other goals in the opening half were set up by accurate passes from Raven.
“It’s a lot of fun to kick the ball up field to him [Jack] and know he’s going to do something with it.” Raven said.
DeLuca had a hand in the Tartans’ first four goals of the second half, scoring three and assisting on Kofi Jack’s last goal.
“We knew ten [Jack] and six [DeLuca] were guys to look out for,” Miron said. “Their skill can definitely be overwhelming at times.”
Graves, who missed the net on several chances in Friday’s 9-1 senior night win over Johnstown, accounted for the Tartans’ final goal.
“No one got selfish,” Kofi Jack said. “Today was like it’s been throughout the season. We all wanted to help each other.”
Scotia-Glenville will play at Averill Park (No. 3, 6-8-1) Saturday at 3 p.m. in a sectional quarterfinal. Averill Park received a first-round bye.
Halftime score: Scotia-Glenville led 5-0. Lansingburgh scoring: Voter 1-0. Scotia-Glenville scoring: Ko. Jack 4-3, Murdock 1-2, Raven 0-3, DeLuca 4-1, Fasciglione 0-1, Graves 1-0. Goalies: Lansingburgh, Voter, 5 saves. Scotia-Glenville, Place, 3 saves.