Saturday, December 7, 2013
BY DAVE DYER
FARMINGDALE -- Konnor Longfellow didn't score a goal last season. He had just one goal the year before.
It's amazing what a position change can do.
Longfellow scored four goals Friday, leading the Hall-Dale boys soccer team to a 7-2 win over Monmouth Academy in a Mountain Valley Conference game. Longfellow, a senior, now has a school record 27 goals this season. Longfellow broke the record of 26 set last season by Nat Crocker and Colin Lush.
"It feels great," Longfellow said. "Last year, I just played defense. I scored my sophomore year, but that's it. Coming out and scoring 27 goals, it feels pretty good."
Up 2-1 at halftime, Longfellow scored three consecutive goals to put the game away. Jacob Young and Ryan Sinclair scored later in the game for Hall-Dale, which improves to 13-0-0.
Hall-Dale coach Andy Haskell made the decision to move Longfellow from defender to striker this season.
"I was looking at the stats, he never scored, he was a defender last year," Hall-Dale coach Andy Haskell said. "He's elevated his game, and now he's just a solid, solid striker."
Longfellow scored the first goal of the game 7 minutes into the first half, sneaking a shot past Mustangs goalie Kasey Smith for the 1-0 lead.
Josh Peterson scored Hall-Dale's second goal five minutes later, taking a pass from Crocker off a free kick, knocking it into the net.
The rest of the first half belonged to Monmouth. The Mustangs (7-5-0) got on the scoreboard midway through the half when Kyle Fletcher, standing in front of the net, headed in a well-placed corner kick by Noah Bates.
For the final 16 minutes of the half, Monmouth kept the pressure on the Bulldogs, keeping the ball in the Hall-Dale half of the field and keeping momentum on its side.
"We played well for the last 16 minutes of the first half, I thought we outplayed them" Monmouth coach Joe Fletcher said. "We set up a scheme to defend Nat Crocker and the Longfellow boy. We played well, but we just ran out of gas. We have no depth."
The second half, and Longfellow's scoring onslaught, followed.
"We said at halftime, we just have to be a little more precise in the attacking third with our passes," Haskell said. "We've got them stretched out a little bit, they were a little unbalanced in the back and we just took advantage of some good passing."
Much of that good passing came from Crocker, who set up several scoring chances for Longfellow and his fellow teammates throughout the game.
Mat Foulke scored the Mustang's final goal late in the second half.
The Bulldogs finish the regular season with a trip to Wiscasset on Tuesday before what appears to be a certain showdown with St. Dominic's in the Mountain Valley Conference championship game. Hall-Dale defeated the Saints (11-1-1) 1-0 on Oct. 11.
"Andy's got a good group of kids," Fletcher said. "They play hard, they never let up and they come at you in waves."
By scoring two goals, the Mustangs became the first team this season to score multiple goals against Hall-Dale, which has now allowed six goals in 13 games. It's the second time this season the team's played against each other. Hall-Dale beat Monmouth 1-0 on Sept. 20.
"They're always a pretty good matchup against us," Longfellow said.
Even with the loss, the Mustangs still cling to one of the final playoff spots in the Western Class C playoff race. Monmouth faces Winthrop at home on Tuesday.
Dave Dyer -- 621-5639