SOUTHPORT — As impressive as the Elmira Notre Dame boys soccer team has been this season, the Crusaders took their play to another level Thursday at Brewer Memorial Stadium.
Notre Dame scored four goals in the first 12 minutes and didn’t allow a single shot or corner kick in a 10-0 Interscholastic Athletic Conference crossover victory over a Trumansburg team that came in with a 6-1-2 record and the No. 19 Class C ranking from the New York State Sportswriters Association. The Crusaders, ranked fourth in Class C, are now 8-0 and have outscored their opponents 73-2.
“We were prepared for a very tough match,” Crusaders junior Aidan Sharma said. “We thought it was going to be a great game coming in, so we were focused and ready to go. I think it showed on the field. … We moved the ball really quickly, we had a lot of one-touch passes. We moved well, we made great runs up top and that resulted in a lot of goals.”
Sharma had three goals and an assist to lead a Notre Dame attack that came at the Blue Raiders from all angles and played almost the entire 80 minutes on the scoring side of the field.
Rocco Coulibaly contributed two goals and two assists, Mike Woglom had a goal and two assists, Gavin Harrington chipped in a goal and an assist, and Alec Cutler notched two assists. The Crusaders’ other goals came from Connor Bayne on a 22-yard strike, Ryan Lanning and Will Brennan, who moved to forward in the second half after a lonely first half at goalie.
Notre Dame led 6-0 at halftime and finished with 30 shots on goal and 13 corner kicks. Trumansburg goalie Jack English made 20 saves, including several on hard shots near the box.
Crusaders head coach Brian Adams said quality practice sessions during the week showed through in his team’s play on its home turf.
“I know they were very much looking forward to getting back home and having an opportunity to play a quality team that coach (Jason) Hodge always puts out on the field,” Adams said. “Very much looking forward to it and the 15 minutes, they might have played the best I’ve seen them play ever, connecting the goals they put in. It was really class.
“Excited for them. Working hard. We still have some things we have to fix and get better, but we’ll take the effort from here today and keep moving forward.”
Notre Dame’s closest game this season was a 4-0 victory against Waverly. Every other game has been decided by at least six goals and Thursday marked the fourth time this season the Crusaders reached double digits. The lead was 8-0 with just over 34 minutes remaining.
Opponents are obviously aware of Notre Dame’s firepower. As other teams have adjusted, so too have the Crusaders.
“We’re working a lot more on being unpredictable in front of the goal,” Adams said. “A lot of teams try to pack the box against us or pack the goal area, so we focused a lot in training sessions this week on how to attack in different ways and create more in front of the goal area that will break up organized defenses. And they did that obviously very, very well.”
Notre Dame’s combination of team speed, its up-tempo style of play and pinpoint passing makes the Crusaders extremely difficult to defend. As frustrating as it can be for opponents, it’s a blast for Notre Dame’s players.
“It’s great. Everybody’s good friends on the team,” Sharma said. “We all enjoy it and we have fun, especially when you’re winning.”
Whether or not three Class C teams in New York state are better than Notre Dame is something that should be determined in the postseason. The Crusaders are more worried about their next game, which comes at 6 p.m. Saturday at home against Troy (Pa.).
“We’re just focused on one game at a time,” Sharma said. “We’ll try to do our best and see how far it takes us.”
On Twitter: @SGAndrewLegare