By Joseph Staszewski
St. Francis Prep and Archbishop Molloy are in search of the same things: goals and someone to score them.
The two CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens boys’ soccer rivals graduated Brandon Silva (SFP) and Denes Kostel (Molloy), players who provided the bulk of their offense last season.
The lack of a go-to scorer showed, as the Terriers and Stanners played to a 0-0 draw in their first meeting of the season Sept. 11 at Kissena Corridor Park. It was a rematch of last year’s CHSAA Class AA Intersectional title game won by St. Francis Prep.
These teams, however, are much different than the ones that matched up last November.
“I didn’t see a lot of offense being developed by either one of the teams,” Molloy Coach Andy Kostel said. “The teams are very good in midfield and defense. They have to develop more offense.”
Both squads’ best chances came during a frantic final 12 minutes. St. Francis Prep’s Niko Vasilakos headed a pass from Daniel DoNasciamento, but saw it saved by Stephen Deely in the 69th minute. Molloy’s Daniel Corridan sent a soft pass back to an open John McCoy near the top of the box in the 76th minute, but SFP sweeper Leo Dalesandro cut off his shooting angle and forced the shot wide.
“In the last 10 minutes it just felt like everyone was trying to push for a goal,” SFP forward Brian Kilcarr said.
Kilcarr, who also could not complete a dangerous scoring run in the 54th minute, had his shot from the top of the box stopped with less than two minutes to play. Defenders Ryan Hoffman and Lucas DoNasciamento both had strong games in the back for Molloy (2-0-2). Dealessandro did the same for the Terriers (2-0-1) as he shortly after cleared away a dangerous ball during a scramble in the box.
The outcome and the lack of scoring chances further proved to each side there is still work to be done on the offensive end after a typically physical affair. The players they once relied on to score are no longer around. The Terriers are hoping to get scoring from Kilcarr and Brendan Murphy.
“We are looking for that scorer right now,” SFP Coach Franco Purificato said. “All preseason it has been, ‘Who the heck is going to score the goal?’”
Molloy lost Kostel, the coach’s son, but returns Corridan and Chris Ray, who have experience putting up goals. Coach Andy Kostel wants to see his team make better runs to goal and have a will to finish. Hoffman believes that will come.
“We have a good team all around,” Hoffman said. “The goals shouldn’t just come from the forwards. It can be from anyone on the team.”
The lack of a finishing touch kept either team from coming away with a victory against it rivals. It left the players looking forward to the next meeting Oct. 14 at Alley Pond Park.
“Every time we go into this game, no one wants it tied,” Kilcarr said. “A tie feels like a loss on both sides.”