MAHOPAC There have been signs of progress for the Mahopac boys soccer team in the past week — a win over Ossining, a tie against New Rochelle and a one-goal loss to defending Class AA champ John Jay-East Fishkill — but it would be difficult to look at Thursday’s 7-1 loss to Arlington as one of them.
Or, perhaps, it’s an indication of just how good the Admirals are.
When Indians coach Jim Gencarelli was asked after the game if Arlington is the best team that he’s seen all year, he raised his eyebrows and offered some very straightforward analysis.
“Definitely,” Gencarelli said without hesitation.
It’s nothing to feel badly about. The No. 1 team in the state has had several lopsided victories so far this season and looks like the clear front-runners for a Class AA title.
The Admirals scored three goals in the opening nine minutes to put the game away before anyone had a chance to break a sweat. Even when coach Craig Sanborn emptied his bench, there wasn’t much of a drop-off.
Since last week’s surprising loss to rival John Jay-East Fishkill, Arlington has looked like a team on a mission.
“It was a huge wake-up call for us, and now we can’t let it happen again,” Arlington forward Dillon Ashong said. “We have a really good team this year and I think we have a good future ahead of us.”
Player of the game: Dillon Ashong, Arlington — On a team filled with capable scorers, the senior has found himself deferring quite a bit this season. But Ashong played with more aggression on Thursday, netting two goals and adding an assist. He set the tone by scoring the first goal of the game in the opening minute.
Turning point: The Admirals began with an onslaught. Ashong followed Travis Cartica’s rebound for the first goal of the game, then lofted a well-placed pass over the top of the defense to feed George Pogyo in the fifth minute. Less than four minutes later, Will Kautsky scored to make it 3-0 before 10 minutes had elapsed.
Stat line: Arlington (10-1) — Ashong had two goals and an assist and Pogyo scored twice. Kautsky, Zach Valckenaere and Frankie Ljucovic also scored, while Cartica had two assists. Ryan Wilson made three saves and Jimmy Martin had two. The Admirals took 22 shots and put 15 on target. Mahopac (5-7-1) — Christian Shkreli scored on a penalty kick in the 32nd minute. Jeremy Carroll made five saves and Mike Aurisicchio had three. The Indians took seven shots and put six on goal.
Quotable: “We played a really tough game yesterday against (John Jay) East Fishkill that went down to the wire, a 4-3 game, and then we have a game (Friday), too,” Gencarelli said. “We play three in a row, which isn’t easy. Going from a physical game against John Jay to playing a team like (Arlington) without much rest, it’s not easy at all.”