CUMBERLAND—The Patriots fell to Greely for the third time this autumn on Tuesday, Oct. 23. This time around, the Rangers dealt G-NG a knockout blow, ending their season by triumphing 3-0 in the playoff quarterfinals.
“Having just played Greely eight days prior, we felt we had a good idea of what they were going to throw at us,” Patriots head coach Andy Higgins said. “They had a lot of success in the regular season finale finding width in the final third and creating two v. one situations using their wide players and targets with our outside backs.”
“Our goal initially was to push them central in the middle third and get numbers behind the ball,” Higgins said. “We also felt they were most dangerous once they got the ball wide or off set-pieces; unfortunately we fell victim to both of those on all three goals as two came off corners and one in the run of play which started with the ball getting wide.”
Chase Cornwall tallied two on the evening for Greely, the first on a clever play at the right G-NG post following, as mentioned, a corner. Cornwall, facing the low-rolling, incoming ball, tapped it with his foot to send it behind him, then spun and managed to relay it home out of the converging scramble. Cornwall picked up another point barely two minutes later – and on another corner, no less. His kick came from a bit further out this time, but he put more mustard on it, and it cruised home easily.
The Patriots weren’t without opportunities. Nick McCann, for instance, fired a cross in the first half for Tristan Fogg to redirect, but Greely keeper Schuyler Wetmore came up with the save.
Cornwall assisted teammate Pietro Ambrosini on the Rangers’ third goal of the game, a second-half strike. Ambrosini headed the ball past G-NG keeper Brannon Gilbert for 3-0, the final, with about 24 minutes left on the clock.
“[Greely head coach Mike] Andreasen and I eat lunch daily at school and talked a bit all season about the teams that execute better in the postseason are usually the teams who advance,” Higgins said. “[Greely] executed a few more plays than we did. That’s what well-coached, good teams do.”
(Higgins and Andreasen are both teachers at G-NG.)
“I don’t want to take anything away from my guys; they battled and competed all day,” Higgins continued. “That’s a tribute to the ten great young men that make up our senior class. They will never let us quit. We started the season 0-4-1 and could have packed it in, but this group would not allow it. From that point we went 7-3-1 and earned a playoff berth. That’s due in large part to this group of seniors who refuse to let us quit.”
McCann, Gilbert, Kyle Curtis, Kyle Mercier, Mike Sutherland, Ryan Verrill, Lawson Dunford, Jake Kackmeister, Noah Bruns and Jeremy Mazur comprise the G-NG senior contingent.
The Patriots finish their 2018 at 7-7-2. The team entered the bracketing ranked 11th (to Greely’s third), and bested No. 6 Mountain Valley 1-0 to advance through the prelims. When G-NG met first clashed with the Rangers this fall, back on Sept. 17, Greely prevailed 4-0; the outfits’ second meeting, on Oct. 15, went the Rangers’ way by a tighter margin – just 1-0.
“We dug ourselves a hole we could not dig out of vs Greely, but not for a single second did we ever stop fighting,” Higgins said. “I hope these guys take that mentality forward into the future!”
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G-NG’s Jacob MacCallum clashes with a Greely opponent along the sideline.
Tristan Fogg cuts through the midfield.
Nick McCann drives forward with the ball for the Patriots.
Jeremy Mazur pursues a runaway ball for the Patriots.
G-NG keeper Brannon Gilbert snags a high-flying shot.