GALWAY — The Galway boys’ soccer team outlasted a resilient Catholic Central team Thursday with a combination of stifling defense and efficient offense in a 3-0 Section II Class C playoff game.
Three different players scored, and Henry Flint recorded a shutout as fifth-seeded Galway advanced to play in a Saturday quarterfinal against No. 4 Waterford-Halfmoon.
“As the five seed going to play the four seed, we are looking forward to the opportunity,” Galway head coach Kristopher Toscano said. “I think if we play our game, we have a chance. They are obviously very tough; they had a very good season, also. But I would love nothing more than to go to their place and get a win and advance to the semifinals.”
In what started as a back-and-forth affair, a late first-half goal scored by Carter Scribner provided Galway momentum heading into halftime.
“I think it definitely changed the momentum for us. We started out really slow,” said Scribner, the Golden Eagles' sweeper. “The second half, we started out pretty strong and we were very active. Our offense was spectacular. It absolutely changed the momentum for us. We were focusing on scoring a goal right away and were too slow to start, so that first goal really picked us up pretty good coming out of the half.”
Galway (No. 5, 15-1-1) and Catholic Central (No. 12, 7-11-0) each were aggressive in the second half, but some key saves from Flint kept Catholic Central from responding to Galway’s first-half goal.
“We weren’t really playing our game in the first half. At halftime, we really stressed playing our game, which is possessing the ball, making quick passes. However, it was a really solid defensive effort. Carter [Scribner] was clutch for us in the back, and Henry Flint made some great saves for us,” Toscano said. “But once we settled down, we started playing our game and actually moved the ball around. Once we did that, then we started to have a lot more success. Scoring that goal before halftime really took that pressure off of us of worrying that they would be the ones to score the first goal with us having to respond.”
Carson Scribner and Charlie Clarke each found the back of the net in the second half, securing extra breathing room for Galway. Four minutes into the second half, Carson Scribner -- Carter's brother -- connected off a deflection and put it past the Catholic Central goalkeeper to give Galway a 2-0 lead. Then, just minutes later, Clarke followed suit with a score to put Galway up 3-0.
“Even though we started off slow, we have a great defense that really helped us,” Flint said. “Everyone worked really hard to get us the win. I always try my best and give it my all. It’s exciting to have the shutout, but it wouldn’t have been that way without my defense. Everyone really put in a lot of work.”
Galway went through its Western Athletic Conference season with an undefeated league mark. In the postseason, Galway thinks it has a group capable of playing for a championship.
“I think we have the group that can do it,” Toscano said. “We just have to show up and play. We want to keep this thing going.”