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Goretti gets Long-awaited victory

September 04, 2002|by ANDREW MASON

andrewm@herald-mail.com

Mike Long couldn't be happier about his reunion with the St. Maria Goretti boys soccer team. In fact, he says it's even better the second time around.

The Gaels' first-year head coach, who starred for Goretti in the mid-1980s, was all smiles after his team's first win of the year Tuesday - a 6-1 home victory over Berkeley Springs.

"It's awesome to be back," said Long. "It's my first win in Goretti since '88, and it feels even better to win as a coach. The ultimate decisions are yours and to have it all work out just feels great."

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It all started working out for the Gaels (1-2) from the opening horn Tuesday. Less than two minutes into the game, senior midfielder Jay Gill put Goretti on the board first, scoring off a corner kick from Ben Milgour. Seven minutes later, Milgour bumped the lead to 2-0, heading in a crosser from Matt Coulter.

From there, it was all Goretti, which outshot Berkeley Springs 19-1 in the first half en route to a 4-0 lead at the break. With 19:30 left in the half, Dave Savino found the back of the net off an assist from Evan Patronik. Gill then made it 4-0 with some fancy footwork, scoring unassisted with just under two minutes remaining.

"I was excited from the beginning, looking to get the first win," said Gill. "Our whole team was fired up. Everybody was ready and a little more focused than normal."

"We wanted to get out early, which we did," said Long. "We had a strong start with our traditional starters, and the second half I was able to get everyone in and saw how they responded to game conditions."

The Gaels' overall response was on the ball, as they finished with a 36-2 advantage in shots and a 9-0 edge in corners. Berkeley Springs goalie Jimmy Wall racked up 19 saves, while Patrick McCullough had the Gaels' lone save.

While Berkeley Springs (0-4) managed only two shots, the Indians made one of them count. Senior striker Roger Carlisle cut the deficit to 4-1 with 28:30 left in the contest, drilling a penalty kick high and hard, just over the outstretched reach of backup keeper Kevin Brashears.

"(Carlisle) is usually our keeper so he knows where to put it," said Indians head coach Tim Young. "(Goretti) were a very skilled team. This is just our third season. To play fairly competitive against them is a lot to say."

The Gaels rounded out the scoring in the closing minutes with a goal each from senior Alex Kline and junior Michael Burke.

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