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Scarsdale Soccer Stops Skid by Storming Back Against Clarkstown South

ClarkstownScarsdale remedies poor first-half performance with five second-half goals to earn 5-1 victory over Clarkstown South on October 11th. Following a historically phenomenal start to the season – with whispers of becoming one of the top-ranked teams in the state swirling around – the Scarsdale Boys’ Varsity Soccer Team hit their biggest bump close to playoffs. After going 8-1-1 in the first 10 matches of the season, the Raiders now find themselves with nine wins, two draws, and two losses.

Following the 3-0 victory over Clarkstown North to give the Raiders their eighth win of the season, Scarsdale made the always-difficult journey to take on Mamaroneck at their stadium. A slightly slow first-half performance from the visitors saw the hosts take a 2-0 lead.

The second half, however, was a completely different story. A rejuvenated Scarsdale found themselves level in the early stages of the second period of play thanks to goals from underclassmen Lorenzo Galeano and Henry Mcallister. Scarsdale dominated the rest of the match, but they could not find a third goal. In double overtime, the hosts took the victory with a goal against the run of play, leaving the Raiders empty-handed and with their second defeat of the season.

Two days later, on October 7th, the Raiders hosted New Rochelle, a team Scarsdale beat 3-1 a couple of weeks prior. Despite a strong performance when it came to maintaining possession and limiting the opposition’s goal-scoring threat, the Raiders could not find the back of the net. Big chances went awry, both overtimes were played, and the two sides had to share the spoils. The draw against the rivals was significantly better than a loss would have been, but the high expectations Scarsdale has for themselves this season made the result feel disappointing.

At 8-2-2, a healthy seeding for playoffs is still more than just tenable, but prospects of finishing as the number one or two seed – and thus guaranteeing home-field advantage until the section final (played at a neutral venue) – have almost vanished. Still, a high seeding is optimal for many reasons (avoiding teams who fared well during the regular season until later rounds, home-field advantage during the earlier rounds, etc.). A slip-up could not be afforded in the Raider’s following match, an away match at Clarkstown South.

Scarsdale’s first-half performance in that October 11th match against Clarkstown South was calamitous, abject, poor – and any other negative word that comes to mind. There is no sugar coating that the Raiders were playing way below the level they should have been considering their talent. Even though a couple of key players were missing (including Eli Gelblum, who had to serve his one-match suspension for picking up three yellow cards – none of which were malicious, and rather just unfortunate collisions - over the course of the season), there was no excusing the horrific performance which saw Clarkstown South heading into the break up 1-0. Had it not been for a smart save by co-captain Rowan Haffner early on in the match, the deficit would have been larger.

When Scarsdale lost to Arlington, the defeat was harsh: Scarsdale were not necessarily “outplayed.” They were not “outplayed” in the grand scheme of the match in the defeat to Mamaroneck. But, in the first half against Clarkstown South, Scarsdale was outplayed. Brutally honest words at halftime were said, complacency was washed away, and a tactical adjustment was made. After the second 40 minutes of the match, the Raiders left as victors by a score of 5-1, more than just learning their lesson from the first half. Co-captain Kian Batliwalla scored a hat trick in the process of making Scarsdale 9-2-2.

And so, in the final week of the regular season – the final campaign for the team’s 15 seniors – a grandstand finale to this year’s SHS Boys’ soccer journey is in the cards. With playoffs around the corner (and a regular-season rematch against Mamaroneck scheduled for October 15th), all eyes will remain intently on this Raider’s team to see how far they will go.

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