Homecoming didn’t go exactly according to plan at Albertus Magnus Saturday with rain postponing both the girls and boys soccer games.
If anyone puts stock in rankings, Burke was 13th in Class B in the New York State Sportswriters latest top-20 poll, with Magnus garnering enough votes for an honorable mention nod.
Despite losing almost its entire roster to graduation after two consecutive section final appearances, Magnus is 8-2-1, win number eight actually coming this week via a forfeit by Riverside, which has, Magnus coach Tim Gavan said Saturday, abandoned its season. Riverside was supposed to have played Magnus in a reschedule of an early-season game that was postponed because, Gavan noted, Riverside didn’t have a coach. (Look for a post this week about Riverside’s lost season.)
Magnus has just three seniors this season and one, Catherine Cain, is missing a second straight campaign due to knee surgery.
The Falcons’ playing seniors are sweeper Katie O’Connell and midfielder Jackie Hennelly.
Gavan, who noted Saturday’s weather didn’t stop the Magnus community — girls and boys soccer players, other students, staff, alumni and parents — from coming together for a homecoming mass, then barbecue, noted Burke was scheduled as the homecoming game in large part because it was available while public schools were off for the Jewish holiday.
But its high state ranking holds appeal.
“It makes it more fun and competitive,” the coach said.
Although Gavan knows Burke is good, he hasn’t done an extensive scouting report.
“I don’t know much and, honestly, that’s okay. Sometimes you can overdue it and give your players too much information,” he said.
If Burke has scouted the Falcons, it probably knows not to focus on one player.
The Falcons are having a very good year with their leading scorer, junior Carly Clinton, having just five goals.
“We rely on all 11 players,” Gavan said. “We have a couple with three and two (goals). We’re pretty well balanced.”
The Falcons, who have fallen to Bronxville in the section finals the past two years, will return a whopping 19 players next season.
But, young or not, they certainly seem poised to be in the mix for another long playoff run this season.
Gavan credits a few things for his team’s play.
“Our team chemistry is phenomenal,” he said. “Senior leadership had been fantastic and our young players have stepped up.”
Of his team, he said, “Every day they show up at practice, they’re ready to learn.”
Playing the Goshen-based Eagles promises to be another learning experience. Beating them would be another, um, well, big feather for the Falcons.
Gavan hopes for a big crowd. More than 200 people were on hand Saturday before it was ultimately determined the field was too slick for play.
Of a big crowd, Gavan said, “It brings a lot of life. Our players really feed off it.” –Nancy