FARMINGDALE — Senior Tyler Nadeau’s 59th-minute penalty kick Friday afternoon might have best summed up the Hall-Dale boys soccer team’s 2-0 victory over Lisbon in a Mountain Valley Conference game at Simmons Field, in that it wasn’t ideally executed despite being effective enough to get the job done.
“I’ll take it, but it was a really bad kick,” Nadeau said. “(The goalkeeper) read me, and I just didn’t put it in a good spot. I’m lucky it even went in.”
Nadeau’s shot was one of 28 the Bulldogs (5-1-0) took, but it also represented one of only 11 of those bids that were on target. It was the type of afternoon in which Hall-Dale was faster, enjoyed possession by the bucketload and was able to set up shop in the attacking third of the pitch almost at will.
But the Bulldogs just couldn’t finish, at least not enough until Nadeau put things out of reach against a Lisbon side content to pack the back end and not allow Hall-Dale space to operate.
“It’s a tendency of mine, especially,” Nadeau said. “It’s hard to push yourself when the midfield is so wide open. It’s not until people start pushing you around that you get the pace going.”
Hall-Dale looked dominant in the first 15 minutes of the first half, getting great strikes from Nadeau and sophomore Akira Warren in the eighth minute before breaking the ice two minutes later.
Junior midfielder Matt Albert built the play off the right wing, where Warren’s cross-box service found sophomore Josh Nadeau alone at the back post. The younger Nadeau settled the ball and finished it back across the grain, one of the few occasions where Lisbon goalkeeper Jonah Sautter (13 saves) had no chance at bailing his Greyhounds (4-2-1) out.
The match was 10 minutes old and Hall-Dale was in command.
“When we get the front six going, they play very, very well,” Hall-Dale coach Andy Haskell said. “When they’re clicking, they’re very, very good. I thought that would open things up a bit.”
The Greyhounds, to their credit, didn’t let the early goal change their game.
“We came into the game with a plan of just weathering the storm. We know that they’re really quick and they’ve got a lot of depth,” said Lisbon coach Dan Sylvester, whose team showed a conservative 5-4-1 formation throughout the 80 minutes. “We were looking to score off of set plays. We weren’t going to look at getting something open to break, because they had so much team speed.”
Unfortunately for Sylvester and his charges, that set piece he was looking for was handed to Hall-Dale in the 59th minute. Tyler Nadeau was taken down trying to cut off the right side for goal, giving him the PK opportunity.
Nadeau’s spot kick went straight under the crossbar, just out of the reach of Sautter who made a strong effort to keep it out.
Good kick or not, a two-goal deficit was too much for Lisbon with only a half-hour remaining to chase it. The Greyhounds were outshot 28-4 and the territorial advantage for the Bulldogs showed in a 10-3 edge in corner kick chances.
“We had our chances, but the Sautter kid played well in goal and we missed on some opportunities,” Haskell said. “We played really well the whole game, so we’re happy. We pressed them pretty well, we got the turnovers we were looking for, but we just couldn’t capitalize.
“When we got into the final third, we just didn’t make enough of the right decisions.”