Eagles turning corner in 2013

By MIKE SMITH

On Oct. 4, the Eastchester soccer team fell at home, bowing to the Blind Brook Trojans 4-1. Despite the lopsided loss, Eagles’ head coach Alfio Carrabotta has seen plenty of promise in his team’s play thus far, and views the defeat as a speed-bump as his squad looks to get back on track against league competition this week.

Junior Eric Santamaria tries to make a play on the ball against Blind Brook on Oct. 4. Eastchester would fall to the Trojans 4-1.

Junior Eric Santamaria tries to make a play on the ball against Blind Brook on Oct. 4. Eastchester would fall to the Trojans 4-1.

At 7-5 on the season, Carrobotta has been pleased with the play of his squad, noting that the team has far outpaced its 2012 performance. That said, Carrabotta believes that there is much room for improvement on the Eagles’ part.

“Honestly, I thought we’d be doing a little better,” said the head coach. “But we know our limitations and we’ve been taking it one game at a time.”

Players like Austin Capas-so and Fulvio Salza have led the way for Eastchester so far, with Salza—one of the team’s captains—making some big plays that have helped the Eagles edge league competitors such as Pelham. In that 2-1 win over the Pelicans, on Oct. 3, sophomore keeper Joseph Blasetti made 11 stops.

“Capasso has been solid individually, and Salza has made solid contributions,” said the head coach. “Especially in the games we have won, we have had guys make plays.”

Mostly accustomed to playing on field turf, the Eagles have had to play a number of games on the grass pitch at Eastchester High School this fall due to the shutdown of the turf field that sits inside the high school track.

Keeper Joseph Blasetti extends to take the ball away from a Blind Brook forward on Oct. 4. The day before, Blasetti made 11 saves against Pelham.

Keeper Joseph Blasetti extends to take the ball away from a Blind Brook forward on Oct. 4. The day before, Blasetti made 11 saves against Pelham.

“We’ve had to make some adjustments in the way we play, but sometimes, depending on who we play, the grass has helped us,” Carrabotta said. “We’ve played a couple of games at Haindl Field as well, so it hasn’t been that
important.”

Eastchester was slated to play Edgemont on Oct. 7 but the game was postponed due to weather. The Eagles will resume play on Oct. 11 when they host league foe Bronxville. The strong Broncos club is reeling after the loss of steady keeper Jack Connors, who will be sidelined for the rest of the season after he fractured his elbow. However, his replacement, Joe Pepe, has filled in admirably, holding Eastchester scoreless in a Sept. 27 matchup.

“We just need to have that work ethic,” said Carrabotta. “We know what we have in terms of technical ability, there just needs to be a joint team effort. We just need to leave everything out there on the table.”

Contact: sports@hometwn.com

Jayfer Chacon tries to beat his man to the ball on Oct. 4. The Eagles will resume league play on Oct. 11. Photos/Mike Smith

Jayfer Chacon tries to beat his man to the ball on Oct. 4. The Eagles will resume league play on Oct. 11. Photos/Mike Smith

Nick Georgiou controls the ball against Blind Brook. Eastchester has split its home games between the grass field at the high school and the turf at nearby Haindl Field.

Nick Georgiou controls the ball against Blind Brook. Eastchester has split its home games between the grass field at the high school and the turf at nearby Haindl Field.

 
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About Mike Smith

Mike Smith has been with Hometown Media Group since 2007, serving as the company’s Sports Editor. Mike has been commended for his work by the New York Press Association, winning awards in 2008 for “Best Sports Feature” and again in 2009 as part of a team that put together “The Game,” a breakdown of the Harrison-Rye football rivalry, which won for “Best Special Section.” His weekly column, “Live Mike,” offers his unique insights into a broad range of topics in the sports world. He resides in Eastchester, N.Y. and spends most of his free time serving as the player-manager for a competitive men’s baseball team in New York City. Reach Mike at 914-653-1000 x22 or sports@hometwn.com; follow him on Twitter @LiveMike_Sports.