Zack Decker is giving it all for Red Hook. The goalie has been coming up big lately, but his best efforts just haven’t been enough to keep Raiders boys varsity soccer above the water — a theme that was on display at Red Hook’s home game 3-2 loss to the Wallkill Panthers on Oct. 3.
Wallkill controlled the ball early on but couldn’t get anything to stick against the Raiders in the first 15 minutes or so. They took four shots in that time, only one of which was on target and was blocked by Decker. The goalie then made a dramatic, diving stop in the 21st minute to keep things knotted at 0, and made another serious save in the 24th minute, but Wallkill buried a goal in the 27th minute.
Red Hook’s Kosei Iwamoto tried to even things up with a shot from the corner in the 28th minute and Ethan Longenecker cranked a low, slow worm-burner in the 33rd minute, but Red Hook couldn’t mount a serious offensive try in the waning minutes and came out of the half trailing 1-0.
The Raiders came in with a little more verve in the second half. In the 42nd minute, Dennis Hare barely missed a shot from 40 feet out, curving the ball a foot to the side of the goal post. He made up for it, though, literally seconds later: a Wallkill handball in the box set Hare up for a penalty shot, which he made easily to tie the score at 1-1. Red Hook’s David Uridia missed a chance at a goal in the 58th minute, but scored a bucket in the 58th, capitalizing on a long outlet pass that left him one-on-one with the Wallkill goalie and let him to coach the ball into the goal..
Unfortunately, the Panthers scored a nearly identical goal in the 59th minute when the ball rolled into the net after a scrum right in front of the goal. Decker tried his best to keep things even, even making a reaching stab to stop a would-be Wallkill goal off of a header in the 61st minute, but he couldn’t stop a well-placed, high Wallkill shot from far outside in the 63rd minute.
Up 3-2, Wallkill ran the board as time ran out, and Red Hook couldn’t find a scoring seam. With the loss, Red Hook falls to 2-6-1 on the season.
Red Hook head coach Steve Sutton was still upbeat. “I’m happy with the way we played. I thought we did pretty well tonight. We played well the other night against Marlboro, but we laid an egg against New Paltz three days later. [Red Hook lost 2-0]. We’ve got to make sure on Monday that we’re ready to play,” he told The Observer.