Cope-ing with success: Fordham boots Farrell
Pete McNamara thought his team was pressing too much in the attacking third.
Dylan Cope and Sebastian Palomino believe it was the early season juggling of positions.
Whatever the case, Fordham Prep has solved its early scoring woes in a big way, which was evident in Tuesday’s 9-0 rout of Monsignor Farrell at Murphy Field in The Bronx.
The floodgates have opened for the Rams, ranked No. 3 in New York City by MSG Varsity, after three consecutive 1-1 draws to kick off the season. Fordham Prep has scored 24 goals in four consecutive victories, conceding just one.
“They were stressing about it and that was the worst part,” McNamara said. “Creating chances and hitting posts are all positive stuff, but I think once they started to score and they realized they can score, they made it look easier and stopped worrying about it.”
After McNamara moved players around early, trying to find the right combination, he appears content with the Rams current formation and the Fordham Prep players say they are much more comfortable with each other on the field.
“After the first three ties we basically established our positions on the field,” Palomino said. “It took time. I think the team is working well now. We like keeping possession, that’s our type of game.”
Last Tuesday, Fordham Prep (5-0-3) defeated St. Peter’s, 5-1, then downed Xaverian, 8-0, Thursday. Goal scoring has become contagious and McNamara credits Liam Gallagher with setting the tone.
“He didn’t get a lot of minutes in the first game, but he came on and scored against a couple of teams and he’s been very dangerous,” McNamara said. “He started scoring and let everyone else relax and I think everyone else followed suit.”
On Tuesday, the Rams wasted little time to get on the scoreboard with Cope scoring the first of his three goals in the opening minute. Gaetano Taoromina followed with two goals in a five-minute span and Fordham Prep led Monsignor Farrell (1-5-1), 3-0, less than 15 minutes into the match.
“Once you score a goal, you get momentum and that’s exactly what we’ve done the last four games,” Cope said. “It gives you confidence. We kept doing that and playing together as a team.”
Cope, Palomino, who assisted on the first two goals, and Spencer Heitmann struck for three goals in eight minutes and the Rams were comfortably ahead, 6-0, on the half hour mark.
Cope added his third one minute into the second half, Gallagher tapped in a pass from Taoromina in the 66th and Kahlil Reid ended the onslaught one minute from full time.
“It’s all teamwork here,” Palomino said. “There’s no one individually who tries to stand out by himself. It’s our chemistry and that’s what works for our team.”
McNamara was able to rest most of his starters in the second half, which was critical considering a clash with No. 2 St. Francis Prep is on the horizon Thursday.
“These next two weeks is about managing players,” McNamara said. “We have a pretty big roster, some younger players who are learning and developing. We have five games in a week and a half. It was good to take some kids off the field in the second half to be ready for Thursday.”
Contact Dylan Butler at email@example.com
Follow him on Twitter: @Dylan_Butler