Athena and Brockport battle to scoreless draw

Yakup Simsek looks to cut the ball back to the middle as Brockport’s Carson Daly closes down space. Brockport and Greece Athena played to a scoreless draw.

By PAUL GOTHAM

The scoreboard read zero. But as far as mid-season tests go, Tuesday’s Monroe County Division III matchup at Greece Athena had everything.

Brockport (5-0-1) and Greece Athena (4-1-1), two teams with one loss between them, played a match worthy of their records.

“Always great games when we play Brockport,” Athena coach Mike Butler said. “They always just play really, really hard. That’s definitely one of his better teams and two pretty equal squads going at it.”

Chances existed for both squads. Athena goalkeeper Mike Monti turned away a two-on-one counterattack when he smothered a Zach Wharram attempt early in the second half. Brockport’s Peyton Young matched his counter part with a leaping save in overtime on an Antonio Monti blast from inside the penalty area.

“They created a lot of opportunities,” Brockport coach Chris Zorn of the Trojans. “They are a very technical team. We created a lot of opportunities, a lot of back and forth. It was a fun game to watch.

“It’s always a tough game over here. For the last 15 years it’s been tough game and if you can come out with a tie, I guess you can be happy with it. A win is always better, but we’ll take the tie today.”

It looked like the Blue Devils won the match with a golden goal when Wharram sliced a corner kick from the right flag into the opposite side netting. Interference on the goalie nullified the tally. It was the second Brockport goal taken away. There was also a first-half header from Athena’s CJ Takatch that appeared it may have crossed the goal line. But no goal was awarded.

“We had a couple goals taken back and that bites you a little bit and eats at you,” Zorn stated.

Athena took the play to Brockport throughout the latter stages of the second half. Young showed his mettle between the pipes during a two-minute sequence when the Trojans tried to convert a series of four corner kicks.

For both squads it was their third shutout in four games.

“I don’t keep track of that,” Zorn said of the shutouts. “We go game to game. We’ll look at that at the end of the year.”

Butler, though, pointed to the play of Brockport’s defense.

“They did a great job. They didn’t give us anything easy. All of our shots were really from the 18 or around there. It wasn’t like we had the chance to walk one into the net and could make an easy play.

“We put about eight over the top of the cross bar and then we put another eight right in the goalie’s hands. We need to do a little  better with that, but on the positive side we had those shots. We were around it. I don’t know how many shots we had, but it seemed like a lot.”

Brockport will look to continue its unbeaten ways when it hosts Canandaigua on Thursday.

“I’m not looking to go undefeated or anything like that because then you lose your first game in sectionals and it means nothing,” Zorn said. “It happens to teams. I’d rather take a few lumps here or there throughout the season, make ourselves stronger in the end and get through sectionals.”

Athena welcomes Pittsford Sutherland also on Thursday.

“There is no rest for the weary,” Butler quipped. “Normally, I think we’ll finish better than we did. The other pieces are playing pretty well.”

The same two teams meet again on October sixth at Brockport.

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