Look behind Law boys win over Lions

Whenever Jonathan Law and Foran High get together on the pitch, the intensity level is always high. Both boys coaches – Law’s Donato Piselli and Foran’s Rick DiStefano – know it. So do their players. This is a match neither squad wants to be on the losing end of.

So, it probably didn’t come as a surprise to those in attendance Sept. 23, in the first of two meetings was likely to be a low-scoring contest, where miscues by either team could lead to an advantage for the other. Two mistakes early on in the second half, after neither team could score in the opening 40 minutes, allowed host Law to take a 2-0 lead, which was transformed into a 2-1 victory, bringing the team’s record to 3-2-1 and giving the program a mark over .500, the first that one could remember in recent memory.

Craig Calderone’s unassisted goal at 32:17 of the second half made it 1-0 and Kevin Linn’s semi-breakaway score just 17 seconds later gave the Lawmen a 2-0 edge and put them into a perfect position to play some defensive soccer to obtain the victory.

Calderone found himself with the ball all alone out in front of Foran’s keeper Prashant Patel and put home the shot.

Herbie Pritchard then fed Linn with a nicely-placed through ball. Linn worked it for several yards before releasing a high-rising kick which easily cleared Patel’s right shoulder and found the upper portion of the net.

Foran’s Leandro Jorge scored at 20:30, cutting Law’s lead in half, at 2-1, and, after that, Law held on.

“We played just about enough defense late in the game to get the win,” said Piselli. “We tried to get on it and make it difficult for them to score. But we had several defensive lapses. We let them back in the game some.”

Law controlled play in the opening half, one described by DiStefano as “messy.” Law took nine shots at goal and allowed only two. Patel made six saves. Law also held the edge in corner kicks, 3-2.

“Prashant did a nice job in the first half,” DiStefano said. “I didn’t think any of their shots were dangerous, however. He (Prashant) kept us in it.”

DiStefano felt that Law took over early in the second half.

“We made two big mistakes,” he said. “It was two minutes of madness by us. We can’t throw the ball out like that (on the first goal) and we didn’t cover well in the midfield on the second.”

The loss dropped Foran to 1-6. The teams will meet again, this time at the Vito DeVito Sports Complex, on Oct. 24.

Foran held the shot edge, 4-2, in the closing 40 minutes, but trailed in shots 11-6 for the game. The Lions were unable to convert on four, second-half corner kicks.

Patel wound up with eight saves while Law’s keeper Jaret Petrie made five.

Beside Patel, DiStefano used a starting lineup that included Dan Izzo and Kyle Greenspan as his inside backs) along with Pat Lapenna and Joe Buzelle at outside backs.

In the middle, Foran had Jorge and Cedrick Lingane with Joe Kubic and Ryan Young. Foran utilized a two-striker attack of Jim Berkovich and Claudio (Junior) Dos Santos.

Piselli countered with Petrie along with Tyler Thammavonga and Taylin Altini at the outside back positions. Inside backs were James Mercaldon and Zach Anderson.

In the middle were Kris Gjuraj, Johnny Costa, Pritchard and Antonio Gjuraj. Up front, Piselli used Calderone and Dennis Sweeney.

“We have a good number of core players back from last year’s team (which was 2-14),” Piselli said. “We’re older, we’re better, and technically this is the best team I’ve had in my three years here.