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LINCOLN â€” If there was one thing in particular Lincoln High head coach John D'Aloisio wanted to see from his troops on Tuesday night, it was to control the time of possession.
His Lions more than obliged.
D'Aloisio's crew combined outstanding defense with a pair of second-half goals to upend Moses Brown, 3-0, in a Division II contest before a smallish audience of about 50 at Chet Nichols Memorial Field.
For sophomore goalkeeper Jack Bacon, who mustered seven saves, it was his second straight shutout, as he blanked Middletown in a scoreless stalemate last Thursday. On some occasions, Bacon would come out of the net to cut down angles or to retrieve a teammate's safety back pass, and â€“ at least once â€“ it seemed a Quaker attacker might beat him to the ball.
Still, he did an outstanding job, and D'Aloisio claimed it came as a result of him trusting his defense â€“ not to mention his own instincts.
â€śHe better be aggressive,â€ť D'Aloisio grinned after the triumph, one that raised the Lions' overall and D-II mark to 1-0-1. â€śYou've got to have a goalie who comes out and attacks the ball. I thought he played really well, but I also thought that our central defenders (juniors Ryan Labrie and John Ariza) were excellent.
â€śI thought the strength of that group (including junior midfielder Paul Roque and sophomore defender Josh Gillen) were Ryan and John; when there was any kind of counter attack, they seemed to be able to smother it pretty quickly,â€ť he added. â€śThey also anticipated (where Moses Brown) would pass it very well.
â€śIt's still very early in the season, and we're still trying to find the right combinations, and where everyone will play the strongest, but I was very pleased with our possession. Moses Brown is a very good team, and we're still working on settling the ball, but I'm happy with the fact we kept the ball a decent amount of time.â€ť
See LINCOLN, page C3
Bacon, for one, drew some praise from Quakers' coach Eric Aaronian.
â€śHe's a very talented keeper,â€ť he noted. â€śHe was really aggressive, but that's because I think he was confident coming out of the net. He knows his position and knows it well. I'll tell you, Lincoln's going to be a tough team to beat in this league.â€ť
As for the host's offense, junior Nick Lamoth notched the Lions' initial tally in the 22nd minutes of the opening half. On a feed from classmate and midfielder Mateuz Puzanowski, he drilled a 20-yard shot from the right over leaping freshman goalie Luis Hernandez and inside the left post.
All told, Lincoln manufactured only four shots on Hernandez over the first 40 minutes, but â€“ amazingly â€“ it didn't allow the Quakers one until the 39th minute; that's when senior tri-captain Jonathan Sigal ripped a right-side corner kick at Bacon, who snatched the shot with his hands.
Just five minutes into the final session, it looked as if Moses Brown would knot the game at 1-1. Sigal drilled a corner kick from the left, but a pair of defenders deflected the ball forward. And, on a throw-in from deep down the left sideline, Sigal sent his bouncing pass through the goalie box; the Lions were fortunate no Quaker could put a foot on it.
Midway through the half, Roque ripped a 30-yard liner at net, and it sailed over Hernandez' head and into the back of the net to make it 2-0.
Approximately seven minutes later, however, Moses Brown assembled its finest scoring opportunity when junior midfielder Greg Fullam deflected a ball off a Lincoln defender and at Bacon, but the latter made the diving stop.
Lincoln closed the scoring after senior midfielder Devin Lambert, who played most of the contest, rifled a 25-yard liner off of a pretty pass from junior linemate Alex D'Alosio past Hernandez in the 39th minute.
The good news for the Quakers: They managed six shots on Bacon through the final 40.
â€śI thought Lincoln was a great team â€“ well-coached, disciplined with a lot of skill, and they just finished their chances,â€ť he stated. â€śThat was the key, but I didn't think the score was indicative of how well we played. I was very pleased; we had our chances, but we didn't take advantage of them.
â€śI was also really happy with our entire back line,â€ť he added, noting the solid play of junior Griffin Adler and freshman Rodolfo Estrada, both midfielders. â€śThat's something we've been working on a lot. I also thought (seniors) Stephen Warde, (sophomore) Cory Lewis and (sophomore) Johan Alvarez did a nice job defensively.
â€śLike I said, (sophomore forward) Julio Barroso can run, and he put himself in a position to score for us a few times. He's young, only a 10th-grader, but he's going to be a good one.â€ť
Offered D'Aloisio: â€śIt's so early, we're still a work in progress. We have a lot we have to work on, but we'll take this, no doubt.â€ť