Opposing teams know what’s coming. They just can’t stop it.
Each of Pelham’s last five postseason goals have come on a connection from Charlie Livingstone to Aidan Murray – or vice versa – and they were at it again in Wednesday’s Class A regional semifinal.
“We’re not really surprised,” Murray said. “We do it really well, and sometimes it’s just hard to stop for other defenses. I think we’re that in sync right now.”
Murray scored both goals on assists from Livingstone in a 2-0 win over Section 4 champ Vestal at Hall of Fame Fields in Oneonta, sending the Pelicans (15-5-1) to Saturday’s regional final against Section 9 champ Goshen at Arlington High School.
“That only happens if the rest of the team is doing their jobs,” Pelham coach Terence Huvane said. “It’s so important for the midfield to have that presence. Eddie (Livingstone) and Jefferson (Santos) had good games, Ricarti (Basso) had a good game, so Charlie and Aidan are definitely clicking, but none of that happens without the rest of the guys.”
The game was scoreless with five minutes remaining until halftime, as Pelham tried to figure out how best to attack the Golden Bears’ defense.
“It probably took us 10 minutes to feel the game out and see what they like to do,” Murray said. “They could move the ball around up top, but we found some weaknesses that we were able to exploit.”
Livingstone found a seam in the 35th minute, and Murray finished to put the Pelicans up 1-0.
“It was really Charlie passed the ball through a hole in the midfield,” Murray said. “I was able to tuck it around the keeper to the back post.”
Murray added another goal in the 60th minute, and Vincent Mazzaro made seven saves for his fourth consecutive shutout. Pelham has now won 12 games in a row.
“They’re playing their best soccer right now,” Huvane said. “It’s really encouraging going forward, because we know the deeper we go, the more we’re going to need that to continue.”
Photo by Peter Carr/The Journal News