The Spackenkill High School boys soccer team has an ambitious non-league schedule this season that the Spartans hope leads to postseason success.
Section 9’s Spackenkill passed one of those tests Monday, blanking Section 1’s Bronxville 1-0 at the annual Section 1 vs. Section 9 challenge at Mamaroneck High School. Jake Kaufman scored an early goal for the Spartans (12-1), whose defense and goalkeeper Quinn McGinnis (six saves) were able to complete the win.
Section 9’s Red Hook (8-6) ended its regular season with a 2-0 loss to Section 1’s Byram Hills. Ryan Hobson made 10 saves for Red Hook. The Raiders concluded a span of six games in 10 days.
“Defensively, we’re strong. We have good presence in the middle with Jake Kaufman, as well,” Spackenkill coach Manny Blanco said. “We have speed up top and we feel we can compete with better teams, especially after today.”
Spackenkill’s only blemish this season was to Roy C. Ketcham, a large school Section 1 team on Sept. 10. Bronxville is a perennial contender in the smaller enrollment Class B, as is Rhinebeck.
Spackenkill will face Rhinebeck in a Mid-Hudson Athletic League semifinal on Oct. 18 at Franklin D. Roosevelt High School in Hyde Park. The Division 1 champion, either Wallkill or Franklin D. Roosevelt, will face Division 2 champion Red Hook in the other. The MHAL title game is Oct. 20.
Spackenkill’s last non-league challenge before the Section 9 tournament is at Section 1’s John Jay in Wiccopee at 9 a.m. Saturday.
Kaufman comes from a good pedigree of Spackenkill athletes. His brother Sean played on Spackenkill’s 2012 Section 9 championship team that won a state playoff game. His sister Abigail plays on the girls soccer team.
“He’s a workhorse,” Blanco said of Jake Kaufman. “He’s one of those guys who can put the team on his back and carry us. He was clearing balls out of the back, he was all over the place, making goal kicks. You name it, he was doing it.”
Red Hook coach Steve Sutton said he’d like to see the Raiders play a little more consistently. He liked the effort in a 2-1 win overtime win over Wallkill and in Monday’s loss, but not necessarily in Friday’s loss to Poughkeepsie and Saturday’s loss to Rhinebeck.
“This time of year, (the games) do start to stack up,” Sutton said. “I’m hoping, since they are kids, they can be pretty resilient. I hoped our effort through this stretch would have been more even.”
Phil Strum: firstname.lastname@example.org, 845-437-4847, Twitter: @PJStrum