Amsterdam’s Ever Arevalo (7) tries to slip past South Glens Falls defender Vincent Santilli (8) during Tuesday’s game at Lynch Literacy Academy. South Glens Falls won the game, 5-0. (Adam Shinder/Recorder staff)

By ADAM SHINDER

@RecorderShinder

Amsterdam High School boys soccer coach Chris Modelowski’s first reaction to Tuesday night’s season opener against the South Glens Falls Bulldogs was that the Rams find themselves in a much better place than they were at this time a year ago.

The Rams might have dropped a 5-0 decision to South High on the Lynch Literacy Academy turf, but Modelowski saw encouraging signs from a team that has just three seniors and only a handful of returning varsity players.

“I am very pleased with them,” Modelowski said. “They played the whole 80 minutes strong and hard. The first four goals they put on were all nice, class finishes. There’s nothing I can be upset about. We worked our butts off, we’ve just got some things to work on in practice. We’re definitely further along than we were last year, so I’m very happy about that.”

Bobby Bruschini, Colin Parker, Will Lane and Thomas Linehan all scored for South Glens Falls, with the Bulldogs also capitalizing on an Amsterdam own goal in the second half. Goalkeeper Sebastian Maynard needed just two saves to record the shutout.

Goals barely two minutes apart from Parker and Bruschini got the Bulldogs on the board just past the midway point of the first half. South Glens Falls poured on three more goals against a tiring Amsterdam team in the second half, with two of them coming on corner kicks, but the Rams held their own for much of the game.

Amsterdam goalkeeper Matt Crounse, playing in his first varsity game, made 13 saves and turned in a couple of spectacular stops on point-blank opportunities. Modelowski was also impressed with the work of his three-man defensive corps of senior Sam Phetteplace, junior Ruben Dimas and sophomore Matt Murphy for standing up to South Glens Falls’ constant wave of counterattacking pressure.

“Our defense was very strong,” Modelowski said. “We’ve got a senior (Phetteplace) who’s a leader, and I’m glad he came back to play, and two guys who are younger — and you can’t tell it, really. I’m hoping all three of those guys can be a nice cornerstone for us this whole year.”

The Rams will be back in action Thursday at 7 p.m. when they go on the road for their Foothills Council South Division opener against Broadalbin-Perth.