Salesianum School successfully defended their state soccer crown with a convincing 4-0 victory over Indian River in the DIAA state soccer tournament Tuesday night at Smyrna High School. Not only has Sallies won two in a row under head coach Scott Mosier, the team has now won eight of the last ten championships.
After a rugged first ten minutes of the match, the Sals began to take control of the tempo and field position, and broke out on top in the 26th minute on a goal by junior forward Michael DiSabatino with the assist going to senior Joe Koziol. There was a little bit of confusion as to who to credit the goal to, as the initial shot caromed off the goal post, trickled past Indian River goalkeeper Sam Cannon and then was slammed in to the back of the Indian's net.
In the 32nd minute, Sallies again breached the Indian defense when Josef Klees slipped past the entire I.R. team on a breakaway, but was stopped on a great save by Cannon.
Later in the period, with the Sals applying unrelenting pressure, junior forward Remington Christman scored to increase the lead to 2-0 in the 38th minute.
As the second half unfolded, Indian River had several opportunities, but was unable to penetrate Salesianum's tenacious defense. In fact, the defending champion's yielded only four goals to opponents the entire season.
With Sallies' offense literally kicking into high gear, the, the I.R. defense was repeatedly tested in the second half until Dylan Huber beat Cannon in the 45th minute to increase the advantage to 3-0. Then, in the 72nd minute, with the Sals tasting victor, senior Dimitri Kaliakin essentially put the game out of reach with the fourth goal of the evening.
Not only did the offense take control, but the Sallies defense was amazing in shutting down the Indians' attack.
Salesianum's senior goalkeeper Nicholas Galentine said he was very happy the way the team pulled together during the season and the playoffs, and played such solid defense.
"It's a surreal thing, we've been working hard all season. This is what we put all of our extras sprints into, this is what we put all of our extra hard work into, and it paid off in the end, tonight," he said.
"And I was just glad to be out here with these guys, and this year's been the most exciting for me, because being a captain and being a leader, it's one of the most thrilling things in the world, and it's been a great season," said Galentine.
Mosier said he was impressed with Indian River's hard work throughout the evening, even after getting behind by two goals. "They worked hard and pressed forward, trying to get back into the game. A lot of coaches might sit in and maybe take the two goal loss, but Steve Kilby is a great coach, he's very competitive, and I knew he would push forward and try to get those goals back and give his team a chance to win the game." Said Mosier. Unfortunately, those tactics backfired, and the Indians wound up giving up more chances and goals.
Page 2 of 2 - Mosier added the big field with the artificial surface really helped his team. "So the big surface really helped us, because some of the fields we played on are on grass that are bumpy and slower," he said.