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NYACK — There were high hopes for Kevin Quito entering his junior season, but the Spring Valley forward never quite lived up to expectations.
As a senior, Quito has an opportunity to make amends for his disappointing 2012 campaign, and he’s doing so by keeping the game as straightforward as possible.
“He went in with expectations that he was going to be our top goal scorer, and he put that kind of pressure on himself every game,” Spring Valley coach Ryan Marcus said. “As the season went on, he sort of carried a chip on his shoulder and it affected his play. That’s something that we talked about in double sessions – just relax and play your game – and that’s what he seems to be doing right now.”
Quito was able to keep it simple on Tuesday at Nyack, and the result was a 3-2 sudden death win in double overtime in which the talented striker scored the tying and winning goals.
“I see the ball, and I kick it,” Quito said. “That’s it.”
It wasn’t a promising start for Spring Valley (2-1), as the Indians came out fast and aggressive, nearly scoring on a header from Mike Sullivan in the opening minute.
“We definitely came out, moved the ball and played our type of soccer. I’m not sure why we got away from it, but that’s our game,” Nyack coach Hal Stone said. “I think we had about four or five good chances in the first five minutes of the game. We had three corner kicks and two good throw-ins; we just couldn’t capitalize.”
It was scoreless at the half, but Spring Valley opened the second half with a bang. Quito tapped the ball to Rooben Michel, who snuck an unexpected shot under the crossbar from over 35 yards out to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead before 10 seconds had elapsed in the half.
“I did not think that I got it,” Michel said. “I was like, ‘Wow. That was a goal?’ I even asked my captain (Karlyl Simon) if it was a goal, and he said, ‘Yes.’ I was surprised.”
The Indians would respond in the 62nd minute, with Sullivan burying a penalty kick. Four minutes later, it was Sullivan with his second goal, which put Nyack ahead 2-1.
“Last year, we would have folded,” Marcus said. “This year, we understand that if they can score in 30 seconds, we can bounce back and do the same thing.”
Quito came through with the equalizer in the 71st minute when Simon tapped a throw-in to him right in front of the Nyack net. That forced overtime, and then it was Simon finding Quito once again for the game-winner in the 90th minute.
“I felt like we lost (after Sullivan’s second goal), but we went forward and got two more goals,” Quito said. “All I can say right now is that I’m so happy because we won.”
More of my thoughts and observations from the game:
• For the first 10-15 minutes, it looked like this one could get ugly. Nyack was really attacking and created a few quality scoring opportunities, but a couple of shots were off target. I thought the Indians were bound to come up with an early goal, but Spring Valley made the adjustments that it needed to settle things down. “The first 15 minutes we were making adjustments defensively, switching guys in the midfield, and they had us on the run. In my opinion, I think they had two or three really golden opportunities that they didn’t take care of. Luckily for us, we were able to bounce back from that,” Marcus said. “They seemed to be overloading one side, so we were just taking an extra midfielder and making sure that he was marking the extra shirt wherever the run was going. It seemed to work. We stuck with that in the second half and throughout the overtimes.”
• Getting to halftime scoreless felt like a win for the Tigers, and then Michel hit a ridiculous shot to open the second half. It happened so quick that I only saw it go in as I lifted my head for the beginning of the second half. “It was huge,” Marcus said. “Our idea coming in off of the restart was for him to get a shot. He sort of mishit it. In the end, it worked out for us. We were really just looking to get a shot on target, because we hadn’t had a decent shot, really. We were looking to catch them by surprise and maybe get a corner kick.”
• With top striker Kayode Tyler dealing with cramps, Sullivan was the man for Nyack. He was all over the field today, and looks like a complete player. He was strong on defense and provided all of the Nyack offense. “He was actually our sweeper last year,” Stone said. “We moved him when (2012 league MVP) Anders (Fleming) left. We were looking for a kid to kind of fill that void, and right now, Mike is getting the chance to step in and be a good, solid defensive midfielder, and control the flow of the game.”
• After losing to Pearl River in its opener, Spring Valley has now won two straight. Nyack was looking like the top team in Rockland county after a 3-1 win over North Rockland in its opener, but there could be a lot of parity in the county this year. This win was definitely a statement that the Tigers have the talent to play with anybody. “It’s huge for us – and not just because of the North Rockland game. Obviously, I was aware of it and I knew the score, so it was on the radar that Nyack was going to be a tough one,” Marcus said. “We were looking at this as having eight to 10 guys from last year’s team. Our first game of the season last year was Nyack at Spring Valley, and it was a similar finish. Before getting to overtime, they scored the last goal for a 3-2 finish. We were kind of looking at this game in the offseason as a major test for us. We knew if we were going to be the team that we wanted to be, this was the type of team that we were going to have to find a way to beat.”
• The Indians had to be feeling pretty good about themselves after the North Rockland win, but today was certainly a reality check. Stone doesn’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing. “I’m hoping so,” he said. “Hey, anytime you lose on your field, it should be a wakeup call. If you don’t play 80 full minutes of soccer, anything is possible. You can’t leave any team in it.”
MORE RESULTS FROM TUESDAY
Charlie Livingstone helped Pelham avoid an 0-2 start.
Livingstone scored off of an assist from William Baffuto with seven minutes left in regulation to send the game into overtime and both teams held on to salvage the 2-2 tie.
Gabriel Harrousseau scored his second goal of the game to give the Raiders, ranked No. 4 in Class AA, the 2-1 lead in regulation before Livingstone scored the equalizer.
“It was huge,” Pelicans coach Terence Huvane said. “Against a team like Scarsdale, we have a lot of respect for coach (Joseph Cipriano). They’re one of the best program’s in AA. I think a lot of teams would be tempted to hang their head when we went down a goal late and it was late. Charlie picked us up with a huge goal.”
Pelham (0-1-1), ranked No. 5 in Class A, lost its opening game to Byram Hills last Thursday when they could only play the first half of the game due to thunder. To get the tie on Tuesday was a confidence boost for the Pelicans, according to Huvane.
“The whole team was disappointed with the weather last week,” Huvane said. “I think (this tie) was a good indicator of where we are as a program. I said it to the kids after the game, ‘To hang with a team like Scarsdale, and play them two overtimes and nearly beat them is a good indicator of where we are.’ The same goes for them. They had good chances as well.”
Aidan Murray got the Pelicans on the board in the seventh minute giving them a 1-0 lead in the first half. Vincent Mazzaro made seven saves.
Ben Winters made six saves for the Raiders (1-0-1).
Best of the rest: Rye Neck’s Cory Soriano scored off of an assist from Sal Valencia with less than a minute to go in the first overtime to give the Panthers the 4-3 win over Valhalla. … Hastings’ Will Berrit scored off of an assist from Jack Berrit in the second half to break the tie and give the Yellow Jackets the 2-1 win over host Tuckahoe. … Pearl River’s Brian Chiarello had a goal and an assist to help the Pirates to a 4-0 win over visiting Clarkstown South. … Tappan Zee’s Christian Goldstein had a hat trick in the Dutchmen in their 4-1 win over Clarkstown North. … Irvington’s Ben Ovetsky scored five goals in a 6-3 win at home over Riverside. … Carmel’s Sebastian Lopez scored twice in a 4-0 win at home over Peekskill. … Albertus Magnus beat Ramapo at home 3-1. … YMA beat Haldane 1-0. … New Rochelle and Eastchester played to a 1-1 tie.
Photos and video by Peter Carr/The Journal News