By MIKE SMITH
On Sept. 28, Harrison took on visiting Croton-Harmon in varsity soccer action, downing the Tigers 3-0 in a well-earned win. The victory, just Harrison’s second on the year, is the latest proof that the Huskies are starting to turn things around
after a rough stretch to begin the
Leonidas Velasquez scored twice against Croton, leading Harrison to the win. The Huskies, who started off the season with five straight losses, have gone 2-0-1 in their past three games.
“I think we’re starting to gel as a team,” head coach Matt Pringle said. “We faced the same situation last year with a lot of new players, and it just took us some time.”
The 2013 Huskies feature a number of players from last year’s JV squad, paired with several transfer students. It hasn’t been easy getting everyone on board with the style Harrison hopes to play, Pringle said, but he’s starting to see flashes‑such as those in the Croton game‑of what Harrison can look like when everything is clicking.
“I liked the intensity level and the tempo. The kids starting to buy into the style,” Pringle said. “We’re starting to play smarter and we’re more focused on possessing the ball.”
One of Harrison’s transfers, senior Rafael Urunaga, has been a true catalyst for the Huskies this year in the midfield. Despite playing just his first season of varsity soccer, Urunaga has proven himself to be a skillful playmaker, whose distribution skills have paved the way for Huskies’ goals.
“Our attack is a team effort, but a lot of it runs through Rafael in the midfield,” Pringle said. “He can move the ball, and then Leonidas sits up top and can benefit from that.”
Harrison seems to be hitting its stride at the right time with some tough non-league contests looming on the horizon. In the next week, Harrison will match up with a powerful Port Chester squad as well as a solid team from Horace Greeley.
“We have a very tough non-league schedule and that’s how we set it up,” Pringle said. “We play in a Class B league, but we’re going to play against Class A teams in the postseason, so this is a good test for us.”
In order to continue their hot play against top opposition, Pringle said the Huskies will have to keep on doing what they’ve been doing for the past week.
“We have to play faster, keep the tempo up,” he said. “Port Chester is a great side; they’re well-coached and disciplined, so we have to play solid defense. If we’re lunging in and playing undisciplined, it’s going to be a tough game.”