Ortega, Sardis score in Molloy win over Prep

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Andy Kostel saw two different Molloy boys’ soccer teams at Alley Pond Park Tuesday afternoon. Well, three if you count the junior varsity team sitting on the sideline.

One was the defending state champions, the same team that showed up in a convincing 3-0 win over rival Holy Cross last month and the other was a team not much different than any other squad in the CHSAA.

Luckily for the Molloy head coach, the team that showed up first scored two goals in the opening 30 minutes to defeat St. Francis Prep, 2-0.

“If we played the way we did in the first half, we’re a good team,” the Molloy coach said. “If not, we’re about the same as everyone else.”

In an emotional game, Molloy (7-2-3, 3-0) made the most of the first mistake when Terriers defender Michael Nicolosi was booked after chopping down Rob Sardis in the opening minute.

St. Francis Prep (6-2-3, 4-2-1) set up a four man wall, but Molloy senior Gabe Ortega alertly curled the ball around the wall and inside the near post from 20 yards out.

“I was fortunate enough to get a good curve on it,” said Ortega, who had acres of space to pick apart the St. Francis Prep defense. “I got a good hit on it.”

The Terriers had a great chance to tie the game in the 17th minute when Chris Belac fought through two defenders and chipped the ball over a charging Michael Testa. But defender Nick Katsanos cleared the ball off the line.

The Stanners made it 2-0 in the 29th minute when Patrick Boyle played a perfect ball over the top of the St. Francis Prep defense to Sardis, who easily slotted the ball over Prep keeper Nick Caputi, who came off his line, from the top of the box.

“The pass was so perfect, it was brilliant,” Sardis said. “I just had to finish it.”

After a dominating first half, the Stanners strayed from Kostel’s game plan in the second half and the result was a much more even game. St. Francis Prep had a pair of opportunities midway through the half, but Belac’s header past Testa went wide and Pablo Restrepo’s shot from 25 yards out sailed over the crossbar.

“I told them I wasn’t upset with the effort, but they just lost track with what we’re doing,” Kostel said.

The Terriers almost spoiled Testa’s shutout in the final minute, but the junior keeper pushed a ball headed inside the far post over the goal line and on the ensuing corner kick Michael Berrios cleared the ball off the line.

“They seem to want to start out slow and pick it up in the second half,” said St. Francis Prep coach Franco Purificato, whose team rallied from first half deficits to tie Holy Cross and beat Iona Prep. “But this is Molloy, you’re not going to score at will against them. You just can’t do that.”

Monsignor McClancy 6, Bishop Ford 0. Julian Escobar had two goals, David Hormaza, Diego Sanchez, Danny Tarantino and Gaetano Bruno all had one. Chris Christy and Chris Jones shared the shutout for McClancy, now 5-3-1.

Archbishop Molloy 3, Stepinac 1. Steven Doyle had two goals and Alex Silaco added the third as Molloy topped Stepinac Friday.

Cathedral Prep 4, Bishop Ford 0. John Guerro, Gary McGuirk, Roger Caridade and J.T. Sprague each scored for the Crusaders, while Ray Tinneny had the shutout in net. The win was the first for Cathedral, now 1-2-1, in league play this year.

Monsignor McClancy 8, St. Edmund 2. Adam Brunengo and Julian Escobar had two apiece, while Hector Hernandez, Danny Tarantino, Karl Perres and Gustavo Sanchez had one each for the Crusaders, who improved to 4-3-1.

Regis 4, Holy Cross 3. Brian Matthews’ 18-yard shot midway through the second half completed a dramatic comeback win for Regis over the Knights, who dropped to 7-3-1 on the year.

St. Francis Prep 3, Xaverian 2. Belac and Jorge Pena each scored for the Terriers, who battled back from a 1-0 hole at halftime and prevailed, moving to 6-1-3 on the year.

Archbishop Molloy 3, Fordham Prep 2. Two goals by Sardis and one by Mike Berrios proved to be the difference for the Stanners.

St. John’s Prep 7, Monsignor McClancy 0. Sebastian Garcia had three goals, while Mauro Ortiz, Edwin Montes, Ferney Ruiz and Oscar Garcia had one each for the Red Storm. Christopher Clarke had the shutout in net. St. John’s is 4-0.

Iona Prep 1, Archbishop Molloy 0. The Stanners dropped their first inter-league game of the season to the Gaels on Oct. 1.

Cathedral Prep 2, St. Edmund 2. John Guerro scored with less than 10 seconds to go in the second half to tie the game and force overtime. Gary McGuirk scored the other goal for Cathedral Prep, which also tied Salesian 3-3 in non-league action.

— Anthony Bosco contributed to this story

Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by email at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 143.

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