Benle Scores Game-Winner to Lift Taconic
PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- David Benle was not late with his shot, and the result was a late goal to give the Taconic boys soccer team a 2-1 win over Drury on Wednesday night at Berkshire Community College.
Benle came up on a ball about 40 yards from the goal in the middle of the field and skimmed a shot along the turf through traffic and into the goal with about 2 minutes left as Taconic improved to 3-2 this season.
"Daved came down and picked up the ball at midfield, they gave him the lane, and he took it," Taconic coach Mark Wasnewsky said. "We told them, for the most part, we were taking the ball into the box well, but we were waiting too long until the pressure closed on us.
"David took the shot early and hit it hard enough to beat the keeper. Sometimes, if you're going to shoot, don't hold the ball long enough to get under pressure."
Taconic scored its first goal by putting pressure on the Drury defense on a free kick late in the first half.
Nicholas Donahue took the try about 40 yards from goal and sent an arcing ball into the 18-yard area. Forward Ryan Abel was able to get behind the defense and take advantage of some confusion in the Drury back to get an open look at the net. He then buried the shot for his team-leading seventh goal to give the hosts a 1-0 lead.
Drury came out strong to start the second half, and in the 42nd minute, Mitchell Anderson sent a cross from deep on the right wing that just missed connecting with the right foot of an open Logan Rumbolt inside the 18.
Seven minutes later, Rumbolt did not miss when he won a battle for control of the ball inside the 18, got behind Taconic keeper Cody Latimer (seven saves) and scored into an open net to make it 1-1.
Drury had a couple of good chances to take a lead of its own before Benle's goal.
In the 65th minute, Jake Daugherty made a strong run down the right wing and got off a shot that went into the side of the net.
With about 10 minutes left to play, Rumbolt turned on a ball at the top of the 18 and drove a low liner to right of Latimer, who dove to make the save and keep things even.
Then with about two minutes left, the Blue Devils (0-6-1) appeared ready to break out of their end to make yet another run before Benle was able to step in front of a clearing pass and make the quick decision that was the difference in the game.
"It was a little far out, but, hey, it went in," Wasnewsky said. "Sometimes, when you're shooting through a bunch of players like that, it's hard for he keeper to pick it up in time. The other thing is it was nice and low. Those are the hardest ones for the keeper to save, especially coming through a crowd because he has to look down and try to get down. And by now it was probably a little wet and slippery out there, so the ball probably did a little skipping."
Drury coach John Jacobbe was disappointed to see a chance slip away for the Blue Devils to snap a five-game losing streak, but he was not displeased with the effort his team gave in the second of three games this fall against Taconic.
"We laid it on the line," Jacobbe said. "We had a senior captain [Chris Andrews] go down with an injury and a lot of freshmen out there playing - [striker] Cove Massey and [midfielder] Max Daugherty as freshmen played a ton of minutes. [Defender] Danny Alvarez is a freshmen.
"So we battled. It was a tough, physical game, and we didn't make our own breaks."
Drury gets one more try against Taconic in North Adams on Oct. 16.
The Devils' next game is at home against St. Joseph on Friday, when Taconic travels to face Hoosac Valley.