JOHN GLENN 5, SHOREHAM-WADING RIVER 0
Midway through the first half Thursday afternoon at Shoreham-Wading River, the referee noticed a problem with John Glenn forward Francis Dela-Agbotse’s uniform. His white socks were partly up over his blue socks, a no-no for a properly equipped uniform. Dela-Agbotse had to head to the bench and take off the white socks.
For the few minutes he spent on the bench, the Wildcats could finally take a breath.
When Dela-Agbotse was on the field, he was a nightmare to keep track off as he peppered the Wildcats with shots. A skilled player with blazing speed, he was instrumental in John Glenn’s 5-0 victory over Shoreham.
He scored one goal with an assist and led all players with seven shots.
“We tried to put a couple different people on him,” said Shoreham coach Andrew Moschetti. “He’s a really good, skilled player. Anyone would love to have him on their team.”
Dela-Agbotse got almost too cute at times, trying for fancier plays with his footwork when the coaches probably would have preferred a simpler play. But he had the ability to dazzle and when he got space, showed off his tremendous speed and leg.
“You try to put one guy on him and if he can’t do it, try somebody else,” Moschetti said. “There’s not many kids at that level here that we have. So I kind of mix it up and try to give a couple guys a chance. Today he was kind of on top of his game.”
Dela-Agbotse scored his sixth goal of the season with 12:10 left in the second half to put the Knights ahead 3-0. He beat a defender across the middle and launched a left-footed shot from around the top of the box inside the right post. The flood gates opened up right afterward. The Knights scored again 24 seconds later, then added their final goal 1:42 after that. All in all it was a three-goal surge in two minutes and six seconds.
The five goals allowed equaled the total the Wildcats gave up in their previous seven games combined.
The Wildcats beat the Knights 2-1 at John Glenn in September, but could never gain any traction on offense the second meeting.
“It’s a good learning experience,” Moschetti said. “You take these games and learn from them tomorrow in practice.”
The Wildcats had trouble recognizing some of Glenn’s left-footed players at first. Adan Cruz-Velasquez scored the Knights’ first goal with 24:38 left in the first half when he shot from right side of the box.
Dela-Agbotse dribbled through the left side into the box late in the first half and kicked a pass across to Jimmy Groak in front of the right post where he knocked it in. Groak scored Glenn’s fifth goal as well.
The Wildcats (4-2-1 League VI, 6-3-2) came into the game in a three-way tie for first place in league with Westhampton and East Hampton. Glenn improved to 5-2 as all four teams jockey for position.
It makes every game so crucial.
“We’re in the mix,” Moschetti said. “I definitely think we’re going to be able to make the playoffs and from there everybody’s beating up on everybody. We definitely still have a chance to win the league championship. It’s just a matter of taking today and using it to get better in the rest of the games of the season.”
The Wildcats face another tough one Saturday at East Hampton when they face the Bonackers on their turf field.