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SCARSDALE — The main concern for Scarsdale coach Joseph Cipriano entering this season was finding a capable scoring threat to play up top, and if Thursday’s 4-0 win over league rival White Plains was any indication, it appears that he’s found his man.
“Coach has been looking for a goal-scorer. He called my name, and I was able to answer,” forward Zach Marcus said. “I like to make runs up top, and Niels (Mariager) found me a couple of times on those runs. I’m going to keep making them as long as they keep looking for me.”
Marcus scored the final three goals of the game, providing the Raiders (4-2-2) with the offensive punch that they’ve been searching for.
“I hope he continues that,” Cipriano said. “That would be very big for us.”
After winning 1-0 at John Jay-East Fishkill on Tuesday, Scarsdale put together its most complete performance of the season against White Plains (4-5-1).
“We were really looking forward to that Mamaroneck game, and it was a little bit of a disappointment, but we knew that we couldn’t lose another game and needed to come back and get a big one,” Marcus said. “That was John Jay and White Plains. We needed those two big games to get some momentum and we’re trying to ride this forward.”
Mariager got Scarsdale off to a good start with a goal in the opening 15 minutes, and then Marcus added another late in the first half on an assist from Zach Cromwell for a 2-0 lead.
“Cromwell gave me a nice through ball down the left side of box, and I faked the shot with the left and went back to the right,” Marcus said. “I just hit it on the ground past the keeper.”
Mariager found Marcus for another goal early in the second half, and then Marcus completed the hat trick on an assist from Justin Scacchi.
In the second half of the Mamaroneck game, Cipriano decided to push his two captains – Mariager and Alex Gaujean – up into the midfield and give them the freedom to push up and contribute offensively. Through two and a half games, the strategy seems to be paying dividends.
“I was playing defense in the beginning of the year, but me and Alex – the other (central) midfielder – we’ve been playing together since third grade,” Mariager said. “We knew we had to make some changes in the beginning of the season, so we thought why not put me and Alex in the midfield? Against Fishkill it worked and in the second half against Mamaroneck, and then here today we completely dominated the midfield. I think it’s a good move and we’re going to stick with that.”
MORE RESULTS FROM THURSDAY
Pearl River took a monumental step towards the regular season league title after a 2-0 win at Nyack Thursday.
“For us, it was a nice emotional win,” Pearl River coach Damon O’Keefe said. “Last year we lost to Nyack twice, which helped them win the league title… Hopefully this puts us in a good spot to win it this year.”
Pirates’ goalie Pat Guerin had his eighth shutout of the season and made a couple of huge saves to keep the Indians scoreless.
“He’s been tremendous for us this year,” O’Keefe said about Guerin. “Today was a great test for him and he did a phenomenal job keeping them off the board.”
Tony Ortega controlled the Pirates offense and placed two perfect passes to teammates Sean Coughlan and Manuel Arango for the Pirates’ scores.
“Tony played a great cross ball to Sean who split the back defense for the score,” O’Keefe said. “Then, about 10 minutes later, he played a great through ball to Manuel, who made a great shot off his left leg before the end of the half.”
Nyack made a push within the final 15 minutes of the match, but the Pirates back four did a solid job limiting Indians’ top-scorer Mike Sullivan from getting loose.
Alex Wilson had seven saves for Nyack.
Best of the rest: Spring Valley’s Jose Ovando had two goals in the 5-0 win at Clarkstown South. … Daniel Kohen had two goals for Solomon Schechter in the 3-1 win over visiting Yonkers Montessori. … Luis Morales and Steven Hernandez each had two goals in Port Chester’s 7-0 win over visiting Riverside. … Joseph Blasetti had 11 saves in Eastchester’s 2-1 victory over visiting Pelham. … Juan Umana had 11 saves in Tappan Zee’s 5-1 victory at Albertus Magnus. … Sam Aherne had two goals and an assist in Bronxville’s 5-1 win over visiting Scarsdale B. … Jack Berritt scored both goals in Hastings’ 2-1 win at home over Ardsley. … Emmett Gaffney had two goals in Mamaroneck’s 3-0 win at New Rochelle.
Photos by Matthew Brown/Video by Vincent Z. Mercogliano