AMSTERDAM — Amsterdam boys’ soccer coach Christopher Green’s halftime message Wednesday was part strategy, part pep talk.
It was the right formula, as Amsterdam broke a scoreless tie at the break to defeat Gloversville 2-1 in Foothills Council action at Lynch Literacy Academy.
Both teams had their chances to score in the first half. Gloversvile (0-4 league, 0-6 overall) had more of them in the first 10 minutes, whereas Amsterdam (3-2, 4-2) took a while to get comfortable, but then carried the play for the final 25 minutes.
“We’re a good group,” Green said. “We understand we can do what’s ahead of us, so mostly the [halftime] message was keep going, keep attacking; always on to the next one. Whatever they need to do to mentally reset themselves and get after it.”
That paid off with 32:38 left when Connor Meca crossed the ball to the box and midfielder Callum McNamara controlled the ball and tapped it in the net for the first goal.
“It kind of took a weird bounce first,” McNamara said. “It bounced off my chest and then fell right to my foot.
“We’re usually in tight games at half,” McNamara added. “We just put our heads together, focused up and the defense really played well today with missing players out.”
The Rams made it 2-0 with 15:14 left when Nate Covey stole the ball from a defender, dribbled past the oncoming goalkeeper and slid it in.
Green said the strategic part of his halftime talk concerned how the Rams had to be smart attacking.
“Not just getting on the ball and making a decision, we have to be proactive,” Green said. “We saw in the first half what we could do to change a little more in the way we wanted to attack, and it seemed to make a big difference in the second half.”
The Dragons made things interesting late in the game, as Evan Renda scored with 3:03 left off a rebound, and then they put on a late push.
“We had a key injury in the first half to one of our better players,” Gloversville coach Jim Yanno said of Jordan Yanno. “He’s a tough player to cover for, and that just affected our positioning overall. I thought our effort was good overall, but it took us a bit to figure out how to play together, and we didn’t really have that sense of urgency until the end of the game.”
Juan Rivas made nine saves for Amsterdam, while Connor Kohn saved six for Gloversville.
Not knowing when Jordan Yanno may be back, coach Yanno said his team may have figured out some positioning things on the fly.
“It’s definitely time for that next guy to step up,” coach Yanno said. “We’re a pretty young group overall, but we’re trying to work hard and improve each game.”
As for Amsterdam, it has four games next week, with the first three league contests all away. But there’s a sense of optimism.
“Hopefully we’ll make it past first round of sectionals, which we came up a little short of last year,” McNamara said. “I think we’ve got a pretty good squad.”
Halftime score: 0-0. Gloversville scoring: Renda 1-0. Amsterdam scoring: McNamara 1-0, Covey 1-0, Meca 0-1. Goalies: Gloversville, Kohn, 6 saves. Amsterdam, Rivas, 9 saves.