ONEONTA — Margaretville is head and shoulders above the rest of the Delaware League.
Matt Van Valkenburg helped the Blue Devils prove it Saturday at the Wright National Soccer Campus, elevating to head in a pair of long-range throw-ins from Kyle Short in a 4-1 crossover defeat of South Kortright.
“Margaretville’s obviously a good team,” SK coach Bob VanValkenburgh said shortly after his Rams were outshot, 18-4, in their eighth straight crossover appearance. “They just keep coming at you and coming at you.”
Roberto Sarabia made the first move in Margaretville’s first DL title victory since a 2-1 win over SK in 2009, but his opening goal certainly didn’t come easily.
After misfiring three times, Sarabia finally found the net with 17 minutes, 10 seconds left in the first half. SK goalie Brett Post tracked Sarabia’s laser from the left side of the 18-yard box but had little chance to stop it as the ball nipped a defender and kicked left on the way in. Ben Fairbairn earned an assist on the play for the Blue Devils (15-0), who made it 2-0 less than six minutes later.
Margaretville penetrated the top of the 18-yard box and a collision ensued as two SK players charged over to defend. Officials ruled a penalty kick was in order, much to the dismay of VanValkenburgh, and Sam Gil drove a hard shot over Post with 11:45 to go before halftime.
“They know what they’re doing,” VanValkenburgh said. “They get to all the right spots and they’re well-coached.”
The Rams (9-4-2) got one back seconds after Connor Woznick was pancaked inside the box by two Margaretville defenders on an SK corner kick. After Woznick limped off the field, Griff Metzko converted the penalty kick with a shot to the right side as Margaretville keeper Eric Mathiesen faded left. Metzko’s goal came 2:41 into the second half and gave the Rams a chance to win its first outright crossover crown since a 3-0 defeat of Davenport in 2011.