Elmont made some noise on the soccer pitch a year ago when it hosted a playoff game for the first time in 32 years. The Spartans have carried that momentum into the 2012 season and are the team to beat in Conference AA-III.
After last Friday’s 2-0 home victory over intra-district rival Carey, Elmont improved to 9-0 overall, including 7-0 in conference play. Sophomore Sal Mercado scored off a pretty pass from Benji Alonge in the 53rd minute for the game’s first goal. It’s the best start in program history.
Despite a sluggish first half last Friday, Elmont coach Pat Corvetti was happy to get the victory. “It’s always tough for us when we play Carey,” Corvetti said. “They come to play, and don’t give us a lot of opportunities to score. We made some changes to the lineup and a few adjustments to counter what they were doing. We just didn’t have any rhythm. It was nice to get the win.”
The Spartans, who along with Lawrence are the only undefeated and untied teams in the county, couldn’t get anything going in the opening half. Carey, which fell to 3-4-2, had the best scoring opportunity of the half when the team’s leading scorer Elvis Aguiluz broke in alone off a broken play. The senior center-midfielder’s shot was turned aside by keeper Alex Servin.
Elmont got the only goal it would need when Alonge, who has 10 goals and four assists after leading the county in scoring as a junior, found Mercado off a perfect corner kick. Mercado headed the ball past Carey keeper Brian Morgan for his third tally of the season. Morgan had seven saves.
Any thoughts of a comeback by the Seahawks disappeared when senior Tim Rosario found the back of the net for his first goal of the season off a pass from senior Hans Avrilus to give the Spartans a two-goal cushion. Servin finished with six saves for his sixth shutout of the year. Esosa Aluyi had a solid game.
Corvetti, who is assisted by Reggie Pierce, isn’t surprised by his team’s play. “It really started four years ago when we brought up four freshmen to the varsity team,” Corvetti said. “The experience is one of the keys to our success. It’s very close, tight-knit bunch. Everyone knows each other’s family, and the boys train together.
With tough games remaining with Long Beach, Calhoun, Great Neck South, and Bellmore-JFK, remaining undefeated will be no easy feat. Corvetti hopes for a lengthy season. “The goal is to be one of the four teams still playing in the county semifinals,” Corvetti said. “We have plenty of work to do. We could get better in the middle of the field, and we need to dribble less and play more one and two touch soccer.”
The Spartans host Long Beach this Friday at 4:30 p.m.