Taconic Boys Soccer Edges Hoosac Valley

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires.com Sports
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- One point was not enough for the Taconic boys soccer team on Friday.
One goal was.
Luis Rodriguez scored in the last minute of the first half, and Taconic dominated the last 40 minutes without putting one in the back of the net to earn a 1-0 win over Hoosac Valley in a citical Berkshire South Division match on Friday.
With the win, Taconic controls its destiny for a second place finish, needing to win a Wednesday showdown with St. Joseph.
"The first half was good, but the second half, we did play better," Taconic coach Mark Wasnewsky said. "We had the one goal lead, and ... what I told them was, 'Hey, the best defense is possesion. If they don't have the ball on their feet, they can't do anything with it.'
"And they did it. And not only that, we generated a ton of chances. Unfortunately, we couldn't finish on them. But it doesn't matter. We had the one goal lead, and you maintained possession down here in their end and got your result."
The goal came on the best scoring opportunity of the first half.
Abdiel Cottto launched an entry pass from high on the left wing into the box, where Rodriguez headed the ball into the net with 40 seconds left until half-time.
In the second half, Taconic earned a 7-0 edge in shots on goal, a 5-0 edge in corner kicks and put a number of shots just wide or just high of the goal.
But mostly Wasnewsky's team followed the game plan, keeping the Hurricanes (3-8-5) on their heels and, for the most part, in their defensive third.
Matt Carlow made 11 saves for Hoosac Valley, which finishes the regular season at Monument Mountain on Monday.
Cody Latimer had five stops for Taconic (6-7-2), which travels to Sheffield to face Mount Everett on Monday.
"We had a little slump there," Wasnewsky said of his team's season. "There were some injuries, and I have a short bench, and after a long, hard season, fatigue starts to show. ... I think we're starting to find personnel where they best help the team.
"Like, I told the guys: It's how you end the season. Hopefully you make it [to the Western Mass tournament]. That's the No. 1 goal. But how you're playing at the end is really the key. We've had some seasons where we were playing really well until the playoffs. Hopefully, it works the other way too."
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