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CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. — Both Horace Greeley and Clarkstown South came out slow on Tuesday. The Vikings claimed an early lead but Greeley junior Mike Mendelson delivered an impressive goal with 5.4 seconds left in the first quarter to tie the game at 2-2.
“We were coming off a timeout and coach said, ‘This is our game. We cannot lose this game. I need the offense to go out and take this,’” Mendelson said. “We didn’t play a good first quarter. The first quarter, we got a little down. But at the end of the quarter I was feeling it and just let it rip.”
The goal turned the tide.
Greeley exploded in the second quarter, outscoring Clarkstown South 4-0 to cruise to a 9-4 victory. The Quakers improved to 2-1 with the win.
“When we run our offense and we move it around, that’s when we’re at our best,” said Mendelson, who scored two goals. “We move it around at least twice and everyone’s getting a look. When we get a look and we don’t have it, we bang it to X. That’s when we’re at our finest.”
Senior midfielder Brandon Gell scored two goals during the second quarter run. Jack Gladstone notched another goal and Cory Ekstrom deposited the final goal of the first half with 1:05 remaining to give the Quakers a 6-2 halftime edge.
“In the second quarter we just started moving the ball really well,” said Gell, who also had an assist. “I think most of our goals came off cuts and not specifically dodges. In general we have a lot of people that can catch and throw and really good dodgers. All we need to do is finish.”
Greeley midfielder Ethan Frieder finished with two goals and two assists. Danny Rubin notched a goal, while Alex Scott had two assists.
The Quakers’ defense was stout with their man-to-man defense as the Vikings struggled to get shots off. Senior goaltender Doug Gusick was solid in net, coming up with seven saves.
“We just had to stay tough,” said Gusick, who credited sophomore defender Charlie Mirisola for playing well. “We did a good job of staying top side on the crease and keeping guys out of the crease. We forced the outside shot and just stayed tough the entire game.”
Gusick’s teammates have plenty of faith in him in net.
“Doug played a great game, he was amazing,” Gell said. “He has been this whole season. We’re really excited for him. Our D is just pretty solid. None of their attackmen could take any of our defensemen, so we’re really confident.”
Greeley won the ground ball battle 24-11 and dominated the Vikings on face-offs.
Joseph Buzzetti led Clarkstown South (2-2) with a game-high three goals. Philip Maas added one goal. Kris Alleyne made four saves.
Greeley is hoping to surprise some people in Section 1 Class B this season.
“We want to win the section championship,” Gusick said. “That’s the main goal.”
Follow Rob DiAntonio on Twitter @MSGV_RJD