Lawmen strike back, tie Tigers
The Jonathan Law boys soccer team had to be patient against a talented team like SCC rival Daniel Hand from Madison when the Lawmen played host to the unbeaten Tigers on Sept. 19.
As Law’s midfielders and defenders collapsed on every Tiger foray into their zone, coach Donato Piselli kept time, “Ten minutes... Twenty minutes,” and even after the Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the 33rd minute, Piselli had only praise for his team from the sideline.
Law trailed 2-0 after the Tigers’ second tally with 15:12 remaining, Antonio Gjuraj scored 17 seconds later. Slowing his dribble to create space, the junior booted the ball into the far side of the net.
Keeping up the pressure, Kevin Linn headed home a rebound in the 75th minute, and the 2-2-3 Lawmen played the 2-0-3 Tigers to a 2-2 draw.
While possession favored Daniel Hand by a wide margin, shots on goal were few and Law keeper Jaret Petrie made the saves.
Mike Chodziutko, Tyler Thammavongsa, Taylan Altin and Jucar Lopes keyed the defense in front of Petrie, while Herbie Pritchard, Kris Gjuraj, Antonio Gjuraj and Linn marked the Tigers in the middle.
Craig Calderone was the main Law player challenging the Tiger back line, as the senior looked to get free on throughballs, while Jon Costa backtracked from his forward position.
Law had a chance to tie the game before the half after Costa sent the ball forward to Calderone, who was knocked off the ball and earned a free kick.
His rocket shot went off the Tigers’ four-man wall. Calderone regained control and sent a pass to Antonio Guraj, who was ruled offsides.
Law had another chance at the equalizer midway through the second half. Linn was fouled at midfield and Altin showed off his strong leg with a long ball to Pritchard, whose header went off the football crossbar above Daniel Hand keeper Charles Henry.
Calderone’s crossing pass to Pritchard was intercepted by Henry, who made a leaping catch to beat Pritchard to the ball by half a second with 16:49 remaining.
The Tigers’ Cole McArdle then broke down Law’s defense with fine dribbling skills and drove a scorcher past Petrie for a 2-0 Daniel Hand lead at the 64:29 mark.
The Tigers looked for another tally three minutes later, but Petrie came off his line to knock the shot wide.
Daniel Hand’s second of three corner chances of the game (Law had none), saw McArdle’s header miss the frame.
Law countered with Calderone being fouled while chipping a pass to Antonio Gjuraj, whose subsequent free kick from the right hash outside the penalty box sailed high with 8:49 remaining.
Pritchard was next to challenge, but Henry bobbled and then gathered in his shot.
A strong run up the right side resulted in Costa pooching a shot off the top of the frame. Linn headed in the carom and the game was tied at 2.
Antonio Gjuraj scored the game’s only goal when Law defeated Career Magnet School from New Haven on Sept. 17. Craig Calderone had the assist and Jack Punkus-Coyle made five saves.
“We are deservingly 2-2-1 after five games,” Piselli said. “The boys responded incredibly well after a subpar performance against Lyman Hall. We are looking forward to our match Friday against Hand.
“Craig Calderone (midfielder) has stepped up his game and has scored points in our last two games.
“Junior Antonio Gjuraj is fighting nagging injuries, but continues to come through in big moments.
“Seniors Herbie Pritchard, Jon Costa and Mike Chodziutko continue to lead with solid performances. Mike leads a defense that has conceded two goals or fewer in three of our five matches.
“Jon Costa leads the midfield and is tireless. Herbie is our leading scorer, finding the net three times so far this season.”