NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — It was a chess match between the Hoosac Valley and Drury boys soccer teams that ended in a 1-1 draw, Friday night.
On a crisp night on MCLA's Shewcraft Field, the rivals met up for an early season game under the lights. Hoosac (0-2-1) wasted no time getting into the game with an early chance in the sixth minute thanks to a miscommunication at the back from Drury. The Hurricanes had the better possession for the opening 10 to 15 minutes, really working the ball around and up the right side of the field.
It wasn’t until Drury (0-0-2) found itself with a free kick just outside the box that Scott McGuire tested keeper Lucas Waterman. As the half went on, Drury grew more and more into the game. Sending long balls down the line and over the top of Hoosac’s defense hoping to spring one of their forwards in on net.
It was a game of two tactics. Hoosac tried breaking Drury down with possession, while Drury took the long ball approach. In the 12th minute, McGuire found himself chasing down another through ball before being denied by the keeper coming far off his line.
Just as things seemed to be going Drury’s way, Daniel Pompi hit a shot that was saved by the keeper just before we had our first breakthrough from Evan Norcross who took a nice pass from Aiden Maturski and slotted it in the corner to give Hoosac a 1-0 lead.
“We work on that [possession] every single day, and we were successful because when we got it up to [Norcross] and he didn’t have anything we would just cycle it back in the middle and continue play," Hoosac Valley coach Patrick Mahoney said.
This was something that didn’t seem to translate well in the second half. “We got away from that in the second half and that hurt us, I think we tried to force it a little bit too much," Mahoney said.
Hoosac thought it would go into the break leading 1-0, but Caleb Besaw caught a little luck with a deflected ball that sailed over Waterman's head for a goal from outside the box.
The second half saw the ball mostly in Hoosac’s final third with Drury really gaining momentum and pegging them back. McGuire had a few good chances on his own,almost scoring right out of the gates and putting Waterman on his toes, pushing a few shots out for corner kicks.
“Scotty was all over the place, he has to get that first goal and I think they will come in bunches," Drury coach John Jacobbe said. "He had a great game today he just didn’t find the net. We moved him back a little bit in the second half, and that created more space for us.”
Drury continued to put the pressure on Hoosac Valley all half forcing corner kicks late in the game that the Blue Devils were just not able to connect on.
“Jack DeMayo made a few great corner kicks late in the game that I thought we need to score," Jacobbe added. “We would like to cash in on some of them and I think we need to get a little more aggressive in the box.”
Drury has now started the season off with back-to-back draws and will look to get in the winning column Monday at Mount Greylock.
As for Hoosac Valley, it is still have yet to find a win, losing their first two matches before this draw. But Mahoney is staying positive.
"The guys have been working hard in training and getting better in each game," he said. "I think if we stick to it the results will start to come in our favor."
The Canes will have some time off before the next match Wednesday against Wahconah.