By ADAM SHINDER
Recorder Sports Staff
Though the Amsterdam High School boys soccer team was wearing pink Tuesday night against Christian Brothers Academy, a lot of what AHS head coach Adam Fetterly observed on the Lynch Literacy Academy turf caused him to see red.
After a burst of early energy, the Rams conceded a pair of CBA goals in a 45-second stretch just past the midway point of the first half, and all of their pink adornments worn in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month -- pink jerseys, pink socks, pink game ball, even pink hair -- couldn't lift them in a chippy, 3-0 loss to the Brothers.
"Very frustrating. We didn't execute anything we needed to do today," Fetterly said. "Possession was not there, aggressiveness was not there. We didn't execute anything."
While his team wholeheartedly embraced the spirit of the cause they were supporting, Fetterly said that he needed to see more focus and effort -- in games and on the practice field.
"Maybe they were too worried about looking good for the game than actually playing in the game," he said. "I'd like to get more out of them in practice."
Having pushed CBA to overtime before dropping a 1-0 decision when the teams met for the first time this season Sept. 14 in Colonie, the Rams (5-5-1, 3-4-1 Big 10) were hoping to turn the tables on the Brothers and nearly pounced on an opportunity in the first 10 minutes when Taliq Sims played Andrew Druziak into the box, but Druziak's shot sailed over the crossbar.
As the half wore on, CBA's aggressive forwards started to find holes in the Amsterdam defense, and it paid off in the 27th minute when Nick O'Brien's long diagonal ball drifted over the Amsterdam defense for Michael Wasilchuk to pounce on and stuff a shot past Amsterdam goalkeeper Jared Weissman from close range.
Then, almost immediately off the restart, CBA regained possession and Forrest Scaringe played a pass through to Michael Marecki, who ripped a low-angle shot past Weissman for the 2-0 lead.
"I asked them to come out fast," said CBA coach Garrett Cobb. "We have a tendency to come out slow, but tonight they came out fast. They wanted it tonight, which had kind of been lacking, and it paid dividends tonight."
Fetterly said he saw his team's energy tail off throughout the first half, and while he said they regained a little of the spring in their step coming out of halftime, they didn't sustain it enough to pressure CBA's lead.
"Even after halftime, we did come out a little more aggressive, but it kind of tailed off again," he said. "They've got to play 80 minutes of soccer, and they're not. I'm getting maybe 40 minutes, tops, out of them. That's not how you finish soccer games."
The Brothers added a third goal in the 51st minute when O'Brien's long-range blast deflected off the hands of a leaping Weissman and into the back of the net. Then, the physicality ramped up in the final 30 minutes, and as the Rams' players and coaches grew increasingly frustrated with the officiating, Amsterdam's Nick Caruso and Matt Aldi each received yellow cards. CBA's Scaringe was also carded in the waning minutes.
"We lost our temper a little bit, just as the other team did," Fetterly said. "Not the way I wanted to finish the game."
Especially considering the attitude with which the night began. Despite the setback, Fetterly said he was glad to be part of the Rams' efforts in raising breast cancer awareness with their all-pink ensembles.
"I think its developing a little more each year," he said. "The jerseys, the socks, the tape, the game ball even this year. It's a nice tribute."