Some expected Eastchester to be a punching bag in a new league that features perennial winners such as Port Chester, Byram Hills and defending Class A champ Pelham, but the Eagles have more than held their own thus far.
Monday’s 2-1 upset win over visiting Pelham served as further proof of that.
“Honestly, we don’t have the luxury to take anything for granted,” Eastchester coach Alfio Carrabotta said. “We’ve been playing every game one day at a time. We know what we have – we’re not a powerhouse – but we make the most of the chances that we have. And we don’t give up many goals.”
The Pelicans handed Eastchester a 2-0 loss when the two teams met earlier this season, but the Eagles (7-2) took a few lessons away from that game and made the necessary adjustments.
“We noticed what they had, their strengths, and we tried to minimize their speed,” Carrabotta said. “We tried to limit them in the midfield, and we made the most of the set plays that we had. We were fortunate enough to capitalize in a couple of situations.”
James Silva got the scoring going for Eastchester in the first half, heading in a John Wiley throw-in.
Early in the second half, Diego Rodriguez made it 2-0 on a scramble in front of the Pelham (4-5) goal.
“The goalie (Matt O’Neil) made the first initial save, but Diego Rodriguez got the rebound and scored from close range,” Carrabotta said of Rodriguez’s goal.
Daniel Safsel cut Pelham’s deficit in half on an assist from Enea Dushaj, but that would be the only goal allowed by Joseph Blasetti, who made seven saves.
In an attempt to spark its offense, the Pelicans moved senior Otavio Basso, a Journal News Elite 11 defender, up the field, but the Eagles kept him off the board.
After winning four in a row, Pelham has now dropped four straight.
“When I saw Otavio Basso playing forward after the first game playing sweeper, obviously we kind of prepared ourselves for the other forwards that they had,” Carrabotta said. “We changed up who was marking and we made sure to track him down. When he was in the midfield, Austin Capasso stayed with him, and when he played up front, we used a few different defenders to keep their eyes open.”
Best of the rest: Payton Levine and Ethan Soloway each scored in Byram Hills’ 2-0 win at Rye. … Johnny Denis had two goals and an assist in Lakeland’s 3-1 win at Beacon. … Conor Kelly scored in North Salem’s 1-0 win at Putnam Valley. … Max Kandler scored in Irvington’s 1-0 win at Blind Brook. … Owen Azrak had a goal and an assist in Fox Lane’s 2-0 win at John Jay. … Ari Leffell had a goal and two assists in host Solomon Schechter’s 3-2 win over Hamilton. … Steven Hernandez had a goal and an assist in Port Chester’s 4-1 win at Harrison. … Michael Donnolly had a hat trick and two assists in Kennedy’s 7-0 win over visiting St. Raymond. … Valmend Marki and Joneri Marin each scored in Lincoln’s 2-0 win over Yonkers at Tibbett Brook Park. … Carlos Tenezaca scored for host Clarkstown North and Steve Cadet scored for Ramapo in a 1-1 tie. … Emmanuel Anyane-Yeboa and Fernando Garcia each scored for host Spring Valley and Shawn Shapiro scored for Tappan Zee in a 2-2 tie. … Manuel Arango, Craig MacDonald, Liam Berk and Chris Seiss each scored in Pearl River’s 4-0 win at Nanuet. … Luis Galeano scored for host Rye Neck in a 1-0 win over Dobbs Ferry. … Karl McGuinness made seven saves for visiting Nyack and Patrick McAvoy made five saves for Albertus Magnus in a 0-0 tie. … Brian Murphy scored for North Rockland and Adil Myrzabekov scored for Suffern in a 1-1 tie. … Kaio DaSilva scored the golden goal in host Valhalla’s 1-0 overtime win over Croton-Harmon.
Here are all of the scores that we received from Monday:
Eastchester 2, Pelham 1
Byram Hills 2, Rye 0
Somers 1, Yorktown 0
Lakeland 3, Beacon 1
North Salem 1, Putnam Valley 0
Irvington 1, Blind Brook 0
Fox Lane 2, John Jay 0
John Jay-EF 4, Carmel 0
Solomon Schechter 3, Hamilton 2
Port Chester 4, Harrison 1
Kennedy 7, St. Raymond 0
Lincoln 2, Yonkers 0
Clarkstown North 1, Ramapo 1, 2 OT
Spring Valley 2, Tappan Zee 2, 2 OT
Pearl River 4, Nanuet 0
Rye Neck 1, Dobbs Ferry 0
Nyack 0, Albertus Magnus 0, 2 OT
North Rockland 1, Suffern 1, 2 OT
Arlington 4, Lourdes 0
Valhalla 1, Croton-Harmon 0, OT
Greeley 3, Brewster 2, OT
Ossining 4, Peekskill 0
Ketcham 4, Mahopac 0