On a clear windy Monday, March 29, the Crusaders traveled to Newburgh to face the Goldbacks to renew one of the best soccer rivalries in Section 9 athletics.
The Crusaders entered the game with a 3-0 record while the Goldbacks stood at 5-1 on the season.
The Crusaders got off to great start and for the first 10 minutes off the game kept the Goldbacks bottled up in their end of the field.
But in a trend that would haunt them all day, the two scoring chances the offense created both went just a little wide.
Then the momentum changed. The Goldbacks pushed the ball into the Crusaders end of the field and now it was the Crusaders that were unable to get the ball out of their end of the field.
With 15:33 left in the half Goldback Jesus Martinez scored the first of three goals in the game when he drilled a shot into the top corner of the Crusaders net.
The Crusaders responded and with 5:09 left in the half Mason Yamamoto brought the ball down the near side line and beat his defender. He got off a quick hard shot on goal that deflected off the Goldback goalie and Ryan Guzman was right there to put the ball into the net to tie the score.
As the second half of the game started the Goldbacks took control again and just two minutes in went back up when Martinez scored his second goal of the game on a long free kick from outside the box.
The Crusaders again created a chance and almost scored on a breakaway by Tenmetey Tet-Teh Nartey but the Newburgh goalie was just a half a second faster getting to the loose ball.
The Goldbacks then went up 3-1 when they scored on what appeared to be a defensive mix up by the Crusaders deep in their zone.
Then just a minute later the Goldbacks put the Crusaders away when Martinez scored his third goal of the game on another free kick, this one from the side just outside the box.
The Crusaders battled to the end and scored with six minutes left when Connor McSherry passed the ball to the speedy Yamamoto who again turned the corner on his defender and beat the goalie to make the score 4-2.
The Crusaders pressed to the end but were unable to come up with another score, the two teams are scheduled to meet again on April 13 in Central Valley.
The Crusaders’ 4-2 loss brings their record to 3-1 on the season. Next up an away game against Kingston.
- William Dimmit