CNG/Laura Amato
Fordham Prep’s Shane Queenan and Molloy’s Jack Mangin fight for the ball during a CHSAA crossover soccer matchup.
By Laura Amato

There’s still a lot of season left—that was the message Molloy soccer coach Andy Kostel gave his team after the Stanners 1-0 loss to Fordham Prep Sept. 22.

The CHSAA crossover matchup was a rematch of last year’s city championship—one that saw Molloy nab a 1-0 victory in double OT—and while the regular-season loss certainly stung, the squad knows there’s still plenty of time to turn things around.

“It was tough when we beat them last year,” Kostel said. “Now it’s just the feeling reversed and we still have a season to work on it.”

The game-winning goal came in the 75th minute of play as Fordham Prep sophomore midfielder Jorge Gonzalez connected on a perfectly placed ball just outside the box.

Gonzalez—who came into the game as a sub just moments before his goal—grabbed control after a Rams’ throw-in and a header by James Corsantiti, directing the ball into the back of the net.

“I just knew I was going to hit it,” he said. “One touch and I knew it was going to go in. I was very happy for the goal.”

But while Gonzalez’s game-winner seemed to come almost easily, possession was not easy to come by in the matchup and much of the first half was played at midfield as the two squads struggled to find a rhythm.

Fordham Prep seized a bit of control just minutes before the break, however, notching the first real scoring chance of the game in the 37th minute. The Rams added a pair of free kicks before the break as well and came out firing on all cylinders early in the second, setting Molloy’s defense back.

“We knew it was going to be a good, physical game and a good team with Molloy always,” said Rams coach Peter McNamara. “They just had to switch on and stay matched up and stay ready, try to combine a little bit and play a little bit better soccer than they did in the first half.”

Of course, Molloy’s offense fought for chances as well and the Stanners notched a handful of scoring opportunities in the second half.

They just couldn’t connect on them.

A shot in the 64th minute went just wide of the net and a set piece off a corner came to naught as the ball landed directly in the arms of Rams’ goalie Michael Kennedy.

It’s not the first time the Molloy offense has struggled to put the ball in the back of the net. The Stanners drew 0-0 with rival St. Francis Prep last week and another shutout was nothing short of frustrating.

“Take the St. Francis quotes [from that game] and just put them right in there,” Kostel said. “Except we actually had more opportunities today, we just didn’t finish them.”

This loss hurt, certainly, but the Stanners aren’t focusing on that. There’s still more soccer to be played and, possibly, another matchup against the Rams.

Molloy just needs to find the back of the net.

“The open net has to be finished,” Kostel said. “There’s no excuse for that.”

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