Left to Right: Bryan Booke-Coach, Francois DeGrasse, Kassim Kassim, Nick Barrus, Francis Nguyen, Isa Habeeb, Adnan Abdi, Christian Lawrence, Michael Norris, Ryan Brzezinski, Ethan Antone, Jon Allen, Tyler Mondo-Goodrich, Magdi Mohamed, Kevin LeRoy-Coach
Boys Varsity Game Recaps
ESDAA Tournament at Rhode Island School for the Deaf
The Bisons hit the road this weekend for our 4th annual ESDAA Division II soccer tournament at Rhode Island School for the Deaf(RISD). This tournament is the culmination of all the hard work that our team and the other division 2 soccer programs from around the north east have put forth this season.
1st GAME : SMSD vs WVSD (qualifier)
After a 7.5 hour drive that included a pit stop in Central NY, we took on West Virginia School for the Deaf(WVSD) in the 1st round. Although WVSD didn’t appear to have very many athletes, our coaching staff continued to remind our players that you can “never let you guard down” against any opponent. We started attacking immediately and Nick Barrus scored within the first minute of play. We never looked back and never relinquished the lead. We had 5 other goal scorers that contributed to our win including seniors Christian Lawrence and Tyler Mondo-Goodrich who have been playing goalie and defense for their entire high school careers. It was nice to see them both enjoy the personal accomplishment of scoring their 1st goal in their last tournament. The final score was 12-0. We now move on to the semi finals where we will play against Pennslyvania School for the Deaf (PSD) who won last years ESDAA soccer championship.
2nd GAME: SMSD vs PSD (semi-finals)
Although the Bisons were prepared, we came out a little tentative and allowed PSD to dictate the pace of the match. Fortunately, our defense was able to withstand our opponents initial pressure long enough to allow our top goal scorer, Nick Barrus, to blast a shot past PSD’d keeper and give us a 1-0 advantage. That goal gave the Bisons the confidence they needed to pick up their intensity and instead of playing on our heels, push forward and attack. In the 2nd half, our defense was able to shut down any offensive pressure from PSD and rookie midfielder, Ethan Antone, was able to give us more of a cushion by scoring his 6th goal of the season. Christian Lawrence collected his 2nd shutout of the tournament and the win earned us the opportunity to play in the championship game for the first time since 2007. Tomorrow we will be matched up against long time rival, Rochester School for the Deaf(RSD).
3rd GAME: SMSD vs RSD (championship)
The ESDAA championship turned into a I-90 classic between the Bisons from Buffalo, NY & the Wildcats from Rochester, NY. The ironic thing is, both teams traveled together on the same bus for 7.5 hours to play against one another, yet we only live 45 minutes apart. That said, we were greatly anticipating this matchup seeing is the Wildcats had just defeated us the weekend before by a 5-2 margin. All the planning and motivational speeches were over with. If they didn’t know what they needed to do by now, they were never going to know it. The Bisons opened up the scoring with Nick Barrus making a beautiful cross and Givon Blackwell doing what he has done all season which was “finishing” or as we like to call it “picking up the trash” to give us the lead heading into halftime. Rochester responded in the 2nd half with back to back goals that were 1 minute apart giving them the 2-1 edge. Despite some quality opportunities for the Bisons to even the score, RSD was able to hold on to win this year’s championship. Trying to win a championship is a “process”. It doesn’t happen overnight. Three years ago our team was young and just starting to learn what was necessary to win and we finished in 4th at this tournament. Last year we placed 3rd overall. Now we were able to capture 2nd and there is only one more thing left to do for next season. Please wish our boys congrats on a good season and a great tournament. A special congrats to those who have played their last soccer match with us. Good luck in the future.
Overall Record: 3-8-2
ESDAA Tournament Record: 2-1
Nick Barrus: 3 goals (16th, 17th, 18th of the season)
Givon Blackwell: 6 goals (4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th of the season)
Ethan Antone: 3 goals (4th, 5th, 6th of the season)
Isa Habeeb: 2 goals (1st & 2nd of the season)
Mondo-Goodrich: 1 goal (1st of the season)
Lawrence: 1 goal (1st of the season) 5 saves
Tuesday, October 16th , 2018
Not only was yesterday’s match against Central Academy of Western New York (CAWNY) our final “warm-up” before this weekend’s annual ESDAA soccer tournament, it was also our last regular season game for the season. The goal against CAWNY was to work on various game plans that we are intending to use this weekend in Rhode Island while at the same time focusing on correcting some basic mistakes that our team continues to make in certain situations. Unfortunately, the majority of our team was still feeling the after effects from the tournament we participated in last weekend and struggled to find our legs. Our NFCAA league opponent who was battling for a playoff spot came out quickly and scored within the first few minutes of the match. That put the Bison’s on their heels for a majority of the game. CAWNY was able to notch a few more goals against our rookie goal keeper and increase their lead by 3 goals. It was going to be a difficult hole to climb out of. On a positive note, Nick Barrus was able to find his scoring touch again and pulled the Bisons to within a two goals. However, it was too late in the game for a dramatic comeback and we ended up losing 4-2. We head out to Rhode Island on Thursday late afternoon and our first tournament match is against the Lions from West Virginia on Friday afternoon at 1:30pm. Wish the boys good luck.
Overall Record: 1-7-2
Nick Barrus: 2 goals (14th & 15th of the season)
Michael Norris: 8 saves
RSD Homecoming Friday, October 12- Saturday, October 13
RSD HOMECOMING: GAME #1
After a long week of intense NFCAA league matches with no substitutes, the Bisons now headed out east to Rochester School for the Deaf for their annual Homecoming tournament. Although we were feeling confident after our first win last Thursday, it was just a matter of time before our game schedule and limited number of players this week began to wear us down. Our first match today was against the host school. The Wildcats controlled the tempo of the game from start to finish. We were unable to establish any offensive momentum and RSD was able to take advantage of our exhausted defense and rookie goal keeper(Mike Norris). Although Rochester was able to contain our attack, they couldn’t prevent Nick Barrus from continuing his scoring streak with 2 goals. Our 2nd match today is against EC Drury from north of the border. Hopefully we will be able to fix some of our previous mistakes and show our a Canadian opponent a good match.
RSD HOMECOMNG: GAME #2
Despite a better effort by the Bisons, the results were unfortunately the same as they were in our first match of the day. We have found ourselves in a bit of a slump. We struggled to generate any offensive attack and our defense had some bad breakdowns. We ended up losing to our international opponent by a 3 goal margin, 5-2. It should be noted that although teams have found ways to slow Nick Barrus, he still finds ways to score. He was able to notch his 12th goal of the season. That said, the 4 starters that having been missing this entire week will be back in our lineup tomorrow and not only will our boys be able to play in their natural positions but we should be able to rotate our players in & out giving them a much needed rest. Stay tuned for our results against Ohio School for Deaf.
RSD HOMECOMNG: GAME #3
In our 3rd game of this round robin tournament, we matched up against division 1 powerhouse Ohio School School for the Deaf. The Spartans had been easily beating their competition here so far so the Bisons decided to commit to loading up on defense in the 1st half and be very deliberate when taking our chances on offense. The philosophy was to keep the game as competitive as long as possible and potentially force OT. We did an excellent job of limiting and blocking the Spartans shots in the 1st half. We were able to keep the score to a 1-0 deficit. However, in the 2nd half we were forced to take more chances in an effort to try and score ourselves and it left our defense and goalie exposed to OSD’s potent attack. The Spartans ended up running away with a victory 7-0. Our last match of the tournament will be against EC Drury again in a consolation game.
RSD HOMECOMNG: GAME #4
In our final game of the weekend, we played against EC Drury again for the 2nd time in as many days. Our goal was to end on a positive note and clean up as many mistakes as possible in an effort to get us back on the right track heading into ESDAA tournament week. The Bisons struck first off the foot of Ethan Antone. The Canadians put their next few shots past our goal keeper to take a 2-1 lead into the half. Givon Blackwell was able to tie the game 2-2 after he collected a rebound off of a Nick Barrus shot. EC Drury stormed back and once again took the lead on a penalty shot. With time winding down, the Bisons turned up our offensive pressure and nearly brought the game into OT. Unfortunately we missed a wide open shot. Despite the 3-2 loss, we had many opportunities to score and win. We were a happy that we started to play together as a team once again and corrected some of our issues. We now enter a small break from games of which our boys desperately need in an effort to get some rest and heal up.
Overall Record: 1-6-2
Nick Barrus- 3 goals (11th, 12th, 13th of the season). Nick was also awarded RSD Homecoming All-Star award Givon Blackwell- 2 goals (2nd & 3rd of the season) Ethan Antone- 1 goal (3rd of the season)
Thursday, October 11, 2018
In less than a weeks’ time, the Bison’s played against the Falcons from the Stanley G. Falk school in the second of a home and away series. In our previous match-up, we let a victory slip out of our fingers when the Falcons scored in the final minute to knot the game at 1-1 with no overtime. Despite the fact the our squad was once again without 4 starters, we were determined to earn our first win of the season. We came out strong in the 1st half and took a commanding 2 goal lead of the feet of Givon Blackwell and Nick Barrus. Rookie goalkeeper Michael Norris kept Falk off the scoreboard all the way through the 15 min mark of the 2nd half until the Falcons were awarded a penalty kick off of accidental hand ball in the box. Michael was able to stop the initial penalty kick but couldn’t control the rebound and the Falcons cashed in. With time running down, and Falk playing more desperate, the Bison’s found themselves in the same position we were in the week before against the same team. We weren’t going to let this win get away. Nick Barrus was able to breakdown our opponents defense just enough to let a shot off that Falk’s keeper couldn’t stop. That gave our team a 3-1 cushion and our first victory of the season. Wish the boys congrats and good luck as we travel to Rochester this weekend to compete in the Wildcats annual Homecoming tournament.
Overall Record: 1-2-2
Givon Blackwell- 1 goal (1st of the season)
Nick Barrus- 2 goals (9th & 10th of the season)
Tuesday, October 9, 2018
The Bisons entered last night’s contest without 5 starters due to an unavoidable scheduling conflict. As we prepared to be shorthanded against Chesterton, we were able to experiment with our players positioning and give some necessary playing to our substitutes. As always, our team uses every opportunity to prepare for our upcoming ESDAA tournament in a few weeks. By being forced to play our entire bench with no substitutes, our goal for this week was to practice situations in the event that something were to happen down the road , such as an injury, an illness, or a red card. Yesterday’s match was going to be a true test of our teams character and heart considering we were playing against the only team to have beaten us this season and we were doing so with a limited line-up. It was a very competitive high scoring match. Each team took a turn with lead in the first half. Having no one coming off our bench to offer a quick rest for our players, it became evident as time wore on that that the Bisons were exhausted and being outplayed. As a result, our opponent was able to stretch their lead 4-1. However, our team captain (Nick Barrus ) showed why he is a deaf all American and mounted a comeback by closing the gap to within 1 goal. With 10 minutes left in the game each team took their turn exploiting each other’s drained defense. It appeared as though whichever team took the last shot would win the match. Unfortunately, the Bisons fell short and lost 6-5. After the game, the coaches made sure to let our team know that their effort despite all of the obstacles they faced today could not be any better. Although not happy about losing, our squad was satisfied with how they played to the very end. We were very proud and earned a lot of respect from Chesterton. Our next game is this Thursday against the Falcons from the Stanley G. Falk school.
Overall Record: 0-2-2
Nick Barrus: 5 goals (4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th of the season)
Tuesday, October 2, 2018
Yesterday was the much anticipated home opener for the boys varsity Bison’s soccer team against the Falcons from the Stanley G. Falk school. The Falcons were runners-up in last year’s NFCAA league championship and they were bringing back 7 seniors. Needless to say, it was obvious that this match would be a challenge that we needed to be prepared for. Coming off of last week’s comeback, the Bison’s were looking to start the game aggressively the same way we finished our previous game. Although Falk opened up the scoring, we stuck to our game plan, remained resilient, and Nick Barrus scored an equalizer to tie the game. Just before the end of the 1st half, Ethan Antone was able to collect his 2nd goal of the season that put the Bison’s in front 2-1. With the help of some solid defense from Kassim Kassim, Tyler Mondo Goodrich, Jon Allen, and Ryan Brzezinski, we were able to hold onto the goal advantage throughout the majority of the 2nd half. However, with 1 minute remaining, the Falcons became desperate and pushed our defense back. They were able to slip a shot past Christian Lawrence and knot the game at 2-2. With no overtime policy for our league, this was the 2nd tie game for the Bison’s in a row. The boys were a little disappointed but it was a good learning experience for them to not take the “pedal off the metal” until the official blows that final whistle. Please join us next week Tuesday as we look to get into the win column in our second meeting against Chesterton Academy.
Overall Record: 0-1-2
Nick Barrus: 1 goal (3rd of the season)
Ethan Antone: 1 goal (2nd of the season)
Christian Lawrence: 4 saves
Thursday, September 27, 2018
This entire week the Bisons focused on “cleaning up” some of our mistakes from our previous game. We were looking forward to bouncing back against league opponent Christian Academy of Western NY (CAWNY). We brought our full squad including our veteran keeper (Christian Lawrence) back between the posts. In all of my years coaching soccer at SMSD, this is the largest bench of substitutes I’ve ever had. It was nice being able to rotate players in and out of the match in an effort to keep starters as fresh as possible as the game wore on. As is always against CAWNY, they have some skilled players who work well together as a team. Our Bisons knew that they needed to be patient and contain our opponent in an effort to reduce their number of fast breaks and odd man rush’s. Both teams played stout defense and limited the others scoring chances. At half time, both squads were scoreless and our coaching staff told our players not to change anything but to maintain a high level of intensity. At the 45:00 minute mark CAWNY took advantage of a rare defensive break down and unfortunately out of desperation, Kassim Kassim had to take down one of CAWNY’s players in order to prevent them from having a 1v1 against our goalie. Our opponent was awarded a penalty kick of which they capitalized on and took the lead 1-0. Our boys rose to the challenge and responded by putting more offense pressure on CAWNY until finally at the 50:00 minute mark, rookie Ethan Antone streaked in on our oppositions keeper and took a shot that ricochet off of a defender and into the back of the net. The score was now knotted at 1-1. Instead of sitting back and playing a prevent defense, our Bisons continued to be the better team and apply pressure. Despite some excellent opportunities including an awarded penalty kick of our own, we couldn’t put another shot past their goalie. The match ended in a 1-1 tie. Although we would have preferred the win, our coaching staff was proud of the effort our athletes put forth and felt that we were the better team despite the final score. Our next game is Tuesday for our home opener against the Stanley G. Falk school. Please come and support of Bisons as we look to build off of our success.
Overall Record: 0-1-1
Ethan Antone 1 goal(1st of the season)
Christian Lawrence: 4 saves
Tuesday, September 18, 2018
The Bison’s varsity soccer team began its 2018 regular season schedule on the road this past Tuesday in a NFCAA league matchup against Chesterton. The squad has brought back the majority of last year’s players and we were lucky enough to add on some fresh faces to the roster (Magdi Mohamed & Ethan Antone) in an effort to build off of last season’s success. Unfortunately, the match didn’t play out how the Bison’s would have liked. Chesterton took full advantage of the fact that we were starting a rookie goal keeper (Michael Norris) who was getting his first opportunity to play in between the posts. Despite Michael’s natural athletic ability, the coaching staff knew there may be some situations that he may struggle with because of lack of varsity game experience. That said, although our defense did their best to contain our opponent, there were still 5 goals that got past us. On a positive note, last year’s deaf all-American, Nick Barrus, picked up where he left off by scoring twice to make it a 3 goal deficit. Although we left the game disappointed in the loss, it was easy for us to recognize the mistakes that we made and attempt to fix them before our home opener next week Tuesday against the Stanley G. Falk school. Come support the Bison’s next week and show how “our spirit is strong”.
Overall Record: 0-1
Nick Barrus: 2 goals (1st & 2nd of the season)
Michael Norris: 11 saves