SPRING VALLEY — As a sea of white and black uniforms flooded off the soccer field at Spring Valley High School on Tuesday, Tigers head coach Ryan Marcus was scouring his players for Alexander Taylor.
“Where is he?! Where is he?!” Marcus ordered.
It was Taylor who got a toe on a cross pass that eventually skipped past North Rockland goalkeeper Josh Heber for the lone goal in a 1-0 double-overtime win. Marcus was waiting to give Taylor a proper congratulations — a bear hug, sprinkled with words of praise.
“‘I’ve just got to finish it,'” Taylor said of the final play. “That was our goal — beat North Rockland at home — and we’ve just got to put the energy and keep it going until the end.”
Coach Marcus (@SValleyFutbol) September 20, 2016
Spring Valley had never beaten North Rockland at home under Marcus in his nine years with the program. Marcus, a North Rockland alum, said the team had been practicing that specific play this week, which added to his level of excitement.
“It got the slightest of touches, but that’s literally what we’ve been working on all week,” said Marcus, a former teammate of North Rockland head coach Chris Dwyer and assistant coach Greg Borchers in 1998. “I have a lot of pride, growing up in North Rockland… and these kids know how much it means to me to (win this game).”
Borchers wore a red shirt with “Consagra” on the back, honoring the triumvirate’s late head coach Fran Consagra, who was killed in a bicycle accident last year.
The North Rockland bench was speechless after the game, still in shock at how the ending unfolded. Red Raiders head coach Chris Dwyer was reserved after the loss.
“We haven’t even spoken yet,” Dwyer said of his team, after the game. “I’m sure they’re devastated. It was a tough game, we missed a bunch of opportunities, and we kind of gave one away.”
Spring Valley had more consistent looks throughout the game, and even hit the crossbar twice. North Rockland struggled to find opportunities throughout the game and failed to capitalize on its biggest of the game.
In the second half, Spring Valley goalkeeper Anderson Italien made a diving save on a penalty kick by North Rockland’s T.J. Poscopiello, the highlight of a sensational game between the pipes. On the ensuing play following Italien’s save, Heber made a diving one-handed stop at the other end to preserve the shutout and force overtime.