CROSS RIVER — The rivalry has produced a number of classic back-and-forth moments over the years, but Yorktown quite simply was not in a giving mood.
And the stubbornness resulted in a one-sided affair.
John Jay looked dazed and defeated Saturday long before the final buzzer sounded on a 12-4 loss to the Huskers, who have won five in a row over the one team they live to beat.
It was expected to be another close game.
“The offense just started clicking and when that happens, we can be unstoppable,” said Yorktown midfielder Brian Prestreau said after scoring four goals to lead the charge. “We don’t rely on one person. Everyone on this team is a threat. We should be feared in the section.”
Opponents also have to deal with a strong defense that feeds the finishers up front by creating turnovers.
Austin Fusco, Trevor Koelsch and Jack Phelan were again very active for the Huskers (2-0), who are going to need the long poles to stand out when the level of competition increases. They refused to allow the Indians (1-1) to string consecutive goals together.
John Jay had a lead with four minutes to go in the first quarter.
Andrew Duffy opened the scoring, but Prestreau had a quick answer. Shawn Smith gave the Indians a 2-0 edge, but the Huskers came back with a decisive run.
“We needed to settle down a little bit and kind of get into the game,” Fusco said. “You’ve got the John Jay crowd and everybody gets a little nervous for these games. We’ve been playing with each other for a while so we feel pretty comfortable once we get out there.”
Nick Mariano made it a 2-2 game off an isolation move down low, then Connor Vercruysse got Yorktown in front. Momentum was only just beginning to build. Marino got loose and struck again with 9.6 seconds to go in the first to make it a 4-2 advantage.
The Indians could not solve Luke Palmadesso or Danny Manning at the faceoff X.
A weary defense could not stay in stride with Yorktown, which had a 7-2 lead before Smith came off a pick and ended the run with his second goal of the game.
Nick Bonitatibus added one more for the Huskers just before the half, making it an 8-3 cushion.
“We thought the game was going to be close,” Smith said. “It was in the first quarter. We made a lot of mistakes. It’s something we’ve been trying to minimize. The mistakes killed us and that showed on the scoreboard.”
And that’s because Yorktown was finishing at a ridiculous rate.
“The other day (against Columbine) we were off in our shooting,” Huskers coach Dave Marr said. “We had three of our player with 38 shots and six goals, and that’s not good. We emphasized that in practice and spoke about playing within ourselves and not playing all wild.”
It was a 9-4 margin after Prestreau and Duffy traded goals early in the second half, but turnovers again prevented the Indians from getting a run organized.
“We have to take a deep breath,” John Jay coach Tim Schurr said. “I think guys are getting a little nervous. We knew that Yorktown was a good team, and we needed to relax. I know the kids can catch and throw. I’ve seen it in practice.”
Photo by Carucha L. Meuse/The Journal News