Red Hook is, historically, a team built around its offense. But against FDR, their usual power was lacking during their 6-2 victory over the Presidents.
Both squads came into the May 5 game with similar records; FDR sat at 4-4 after a loss to Section 9, Class C top dog Rondout Valley on May 2, and Red Hook held a 5-5 record after keying Rhinebeck in a lopsided victory on April 30. Neither team looked sharp at the top of the rivalry match, with both Raiders and Presidents dropping passes and short arming shots left and right.
Red Hook managed to get on the board first: the Raiders scored three of their six points on layups. Red had to hustle for their buckets, though: in spite of outshooting FDR 31-17, head coach Rich Saulino’s Raiders squad was plagued by poor shot selection, low velocity shooting, and, most of all, FDR goalie Matt Medina, who tallied 11 saves between the pipes.
“In the first half, we weren’t playing as well as we should have,” Medina told the Observer after the game. “Personally, I thought I wasn’t playing my best and tried to turn it around in the second half.”
Red Hook goalie Liam Quinlan had seven saves on the night.
The Presidents defense clamped down in the second half, holding Red Hook to just one goal in the second half. Red, however, won both the ground ball game and the penalty game with 28 to FDR’s 21; Roosevelt also registered six penalties to Red Hook’s three.
Red Hook attacker Drew Zarrella led all scorers in the match with four goals on the night, and was followed by Raider Nick Michitsch (he who scored all 14 against Kingston earlier this season) and Presidents midfielder Nick Williams, who each had two.
Although FDR head coach Dan Hushion’s Presidents team has been playing well recently, Roosevelt has had plenty of trouble contending with Class C, having lost to O’Neill, Rondout Valley, Burke and Red Hook, and registering a win only against second-year Class C program Rhinebeck.
“As far as Class C goes? Man, Class C might be as good as it has ever been. Red Hook’s always competitive, Rondout’s very, very talented — we played them last week. Red Hook pulled off an upset in the finals last year, it wouldn’t surprise me if we saw them there again,” Hushion said.
“It was a hard fought battle,” Hushion continued. “I think the game would have been a lot closer than it was if it weren’t for Red Hook’s goalie. He had some wild, wild saves, right inside on the crease — doorstep saves.”
Saulino brought up Red Hook’s offensive struggles after the game.
“Today was a nice effort, especially to hold a team to two goals, that’s always good. Offensively, we’ve had our chances. This is something we’ve been looking at all year. Now we’ve got to finish.”
FDR has had a rough stretch since their showdown with Red
Hook, dropping three of four. The Presidents managed a win against Wallkill on May 13, 6-5, but, since Red Hook, have fallen to Highland, New Paltz, and Millbrook. The Presidents are 5-8.