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  • Writer's picturetgardner1167

Joe’s Soccer Tops Canisius

There is no such thing as an unimportant Joe’s/Canisius game.

No matter the sport the two long time rivals always put their hearts on the line every time they clash.

This was no exception.

Marco Passalacqua netted both goals as the Marauders edged the Crusaders, 2-1, in Monsignor Martin Athletic Association soccer action that was played at the Robert T. Scott Complex at St. Joe’s on Monday.

“Even though it was early (in the season) I think it really, really boosted our confidence,” Marco Passalacqua said.

Played against the backdrop of the “Rowdies” and “Blue Crew” fan sections that were both out in force, the game was every bit the battle you’d expect.

The Crusaders took advantage of the fact that the Marauders are on the younger side this year and were able to set a physical tone early. Which made it difficult for the Marauders to penetrate the Canisius defense to create a sustained offensive attack.

But as the game wore on the Marauders were able to make the most of their speed and skill.

“I think so, yeah.” Passalacqua said. “One of the main things we focused on based off of our size this year was, since we don’t have the size, we have to be quicker with the ball. And I think that’s exactly what we did today.”

The biggest challenge for both teams was balancing out playing with passion yet not getting so emotional that they made careless mistakes or plays.

Playing to a scoreless first half the Marauders (5-1) drew first blood when Passalacqua scored the first of his two goals when he drilled the ball beyond the leaping reach of Canisius keeper Cody Franklin in the 44th minute of the game.

The Marauders celebration was short-lived as Rehn Pielechowski tied the score five minutes later.

Passalacqua popped home the game winner midway through the second half.

More than just another game, both teams confessed that the result of this game, win or lose, can have a ripple effect on player confidence for days or even weeks ahead.

“That’s what we talked to the kids about at the end,” St. Joe’s coach Mike Thoin said. “They can’t relax. They’ve got a game Thursday, a league contest against Frannies. We’re gonna take care of business. We can’t plank. We can’t slow down, go backwards so somebody can beat us. We’ve got to take care of our work.”

Now standing at 4-4 overall, the Crusaders, who have also had tough non-league games against McQuaid and Cathedral Prep, feel this loss has to be treated like any other game.

Learn and move on.

“It’s September 16. It’s early in the season,” Canisius coach Chris Stuff said. “The St. Joe’s/Canisius battle is intense, but we gotta move on. We gotta play Nichols who’s a really tough opponent on Wednesday and we have to move forward from this and gain experience from this. And understand we gotta finish. We gotta put the ball in the net. We dominated them for the first half. We had our opportunities, we gotta put the ball in the back of the net. Taking positives out of it is key. St. Joe’s/Canisius, in my mind, the ripple effect is in our favor cause we’re gonna use this as fuel as we move forward.”

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