CAMDEN – The ball just seemed to find Galindy Prezeau in the perfect positions on Tuesday night.
And that’s bad news for the opponent, because the senior doesn’t miss many golden opportunities.
Prezeau scored three times in the first 16 minutes as Caesar Rodney got off to a flying start and rolled to a 5-1 victory over Henlopen North rival Polytech in boys soccer at Riders Stadium.
“We’ve got a lot of different guys that can do some damage, and Galindy stepped up for us tonight,” CR coach Darrell Gravatt said. “… Galindy was in the right place at the right time, but he’s a good player. He’s big, strong, fast, smart. He did a nice job of finishing those balls.”
Prezeau’s big night started in the third minute. Chris McPoyle got the ball in deep, drew the attention of the Polytech keeper and slid it to Prezeau for a point-blank goal.
“That was all Chris,” Prezeau said. “I was wide open, he passed me the ball and all I had to do was just put it in.”
A through ball from McPoyle made its way directly to Prezeau’s right foot in the 14th minute, and he converted with a hard shot just inside the far post.
“He’s such a dangerous player,” McPoyle said. “He stands 6-3, and he’s just the most dangerous area player we have on the team. He’s just a heck of a striker to have.”
The third goal came just two minutes later. CR senior Osama Mahmoud sent a corner kick toward the far post, and Prezeau headed it home against the grain.
“It’s all credit to my teammates,” Prezeau said. “They were giving me the ball in the right position so I could just finish it.”
But the Riders (10-3, 4-2) couldn’t just put it on cruise control. The Panthers (12-3, 3-3) kept up the tempo, forcing CR keeper Dillon Rahe to make two point-blank saves seconds apart in the 24th minute.
Polytech found the net 10 minutes later, as keeper Noah Lust cleared a dangerous CR chance with a long boot that found Marco Maddalena on the other end. The junior beat a defender and tucked a shot just inside the far post to pull the Panthers within 3-1.
“They are a rival, they have a good record and they’re a good team,” Gravatt said of Polytech. “We always take them very seriously and hope to get the better of them, and tonight we just came out on fire.”
McPoyle put it away for the Riders in the second half, scoring twice. The senior blasted a 25-yard shot into the top right corner of the net in the 47th minute, and turned a perfectly placed through ball by Raphael Queiroz into a breakaway goal in the 73rd minute.
“They’re what, five, 10 minutes away from us,” McPoyle said. “So of course, every time we meet there is some kind of smack talk going on back and forth. The last four years, we’ve always been dominant. I’m just glad we can keep that this year.”
Contact Brad Myers at [email protected] Follow on Twitter: @BradMyersTNJ