WEST NYACK Coming off of a disappointing campaign in 2013, the goal for New Rochelle boys soccer in 2014 under first-year coach Jarohan Garcia was simply to get back into the Class AA playoffs.
Despite significant talent, the Huguenots had modest expectations. But they’re ready to start dreaming bigger in 2015.
After reaching the quarterfinals last year, New Rochelle is off to a strong start this season. Thursday’s 3-1 win at Clarkstown South improved the Huguenots to 6-1-2.
“From Day 1 last year in the preseason, the bar was set,” senior captain Luca Sanna said. “We wanted to get into the tournament and we’ll just take it as it comes. But, of course, now our main goal is to make it to that (sectional) final and to make it to states.”
Karlos Sampson and Omar Tejeda scored in the opening 20 minutes to give New Ro a 2-0 lead, which held up until the final 10 minutes.
Piotr Pogorzelski netted a penalty kick to cut the Vikings’ deficit to 2-1 in the 71st minute, but less than three minutes later, Sampson fed Santiago Soto on a counterattack for the game-clinching goal.
“In Section 1, you have never know what type of team you’re going to get,” Sanna said. “You have the team that’s going to give up once you get two goals, and then you have the team that is going to keep pushing, and that’s what Clarkstown South did. They got the goal, but we bounced back.”
Player of the game: Karlos Sampson, New Rochelle — On a team with several scoring options, the junior forward contributed to two very important goals. He put the Huguenots up 1-0 with his goal in the sixth minute and then found Soto with a pretty pass in the 74th minute to seal the 3-1 win.
Turning point: With Clarkstown South making a push in the second half — Adam Gloskin hit the crossbar in the 57th minute and Pogorzelski scored on a PK in the 71st — New Ro responded. The Huguenots outran the Vikings’ defense, with Sampson feeding Soto near the far post to extend the lead back to two goals.
Stat line: New Rochelle (6-1-2) — Sampson had a goal and an assist, while Tejeda and Soto also scored. Cristian Valencia and Cristian Torres added assists and Ryan Goldstein made five saves. Clarkstown South (1-6) — Pogorzelski scored and Mike Tagaris made eight saves.
Quotable: “We wanted to have a quick start and get on the scoreboard early, especially with the way that the season has been going,” Sanna said. “We’ve been playing some good soccer and creating chances. It just comes down to the finishing.”