Hamilton High West Goal Keeper Giuseppe Scordato against Ewing. Photo by Michael A. Sabo.
By Rich Fisher
Sep. 11: An 0-1-1 start aside, there is some serious optimism running through the Hamilton West boys soccer program this fall.
In fact, it has the potential to be the most dangerous Hornets squad in Chris “C-Mo” Morales five years at the helm.
“Absolutely,” Morales said. “This is probably the best bunch of guys we’ve ever had. They’re positive, they’ve been working hard since the beginning. We’ve got a lot of talent on the field, we’ve got a lot of talent coming off the bench as well.”
Senior goalie Giuseppe Scordato agreed, saying, “I think this is probably the best team I’ve seen here so far. When we work together and we’re able to get on that ball, no team can touch us. I think it can be a pretty good year.”
Hamilton is coming off a 5-10-2 season in which it flirted with a .500 finish before dropping its final four games (including county and state tournament matches). West lost nine players to graduation, but a strong nucleus is nestled amongst the 12 returnees.
They include Scordato, now in his third full season as the starting goalie, along with returning leading scorer Silvio Aparicio. Also back is three-year defender Stephen Mizsak, a vocal leader in the back, while Keith Johnson gives Hamilton a potential scoring threat whenever he gets the ball near the goal.
“He’s hungry up there,” Morales said. “You can’t teach that.”
After an opening-day loss to Allentown, Hamilton appeared to have its first win until a goal by Ewing with under three minutes remaining led to a 1-1 tie on Sep. 10. It was as tough a non-loss as a team can have.
“It kind of took the wind out of our sails,” Morales said. “But we’ll be all right, we’ll bounce back. This is a tough group. They’ve been working hard. They’ve just been having trouble finding the net right now, but it’ll come.”
The coach feels a victory can light the fuse.
“That’s exactly what it is, that’s what we’re looking for,” he said. “We’re looking for that first one to kind of break the ice. Let the levy break a little bit.”
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The Ewing game marked the debut of Mike “The Cobra” Moceri as timekeeper, who handled the job flawlessly during the pressure of overtime.