Jamestown rolls past Dunkirk
What a night for Noah Rivera.
The Jamestown High School senior shined under the bright lights of Karl Hoeppner Field on Thursday night against the Dunkirk Marauders.
Led by a hat trick from Rivera, Jamestown came away with a 4-1 victory over Dunkirk in a Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association West Division boys soccer matchup at Dunkirk High School.
Jamestown (3-5, 2-2) scored a pair of goals in each half of the contest, beginning with Rivera’s first tally with 25:29 left in the first half. Rivera knocked his second goal of the half delicately off the goal post, which sent it just over the goal line for a 2-0 lead. Jamestown maintained that advantage for the rest of the half.
Dunkirk (2-4, 0-3) fell further behind just over five minutes into the second half as Andres Pacheco notched the third goal of the contest. Pacheco momentarily pulled back even with his teammate, Rivera, for the team lead on the season with his sixth goal on the year.
“With that speed up top, that’s where Noah is the key player for us,” said Jamestown head coach Bonnie Schnars. “Andres and Noah, they connect really well together. It’s just starting to click for them. The passing game is really coming together for us.”
Schnars also credited the passing of Hubert Mulenda and Noah Burch for facilitating the offense. Schnars called Burch “a game changer.”
But who likes a tie?
Rivera moved into the team lead with his seventh goal of the season with 22:06 left in the game. The goal completed a hat trick on the night for the Jamestown senior, and it put visiting Jamestown on top 4-0.
“He’s a really good player,” Dunkirk head coach Zach Meadows said. “He’s very good at using his speed to get to those through-balls that got through.”
Despite the 4-0 deficit, with frustration mounting as all three members of the Dunkirk coaching staff received yellow cards for comments directed at the officials, the Marauders turned things around quickly.
Over the final 20 minutes of the contest, Dunkirk played its best stretch of the contest. The Marauders’ efforts were rewarded as Naisaih Rodriguez blasted a shot from well outside the box over Jamestown keeper Noah Vrist. Rodriguez also had Dunkirk’s best scoring opportunity of the half prior to his goal, as he sent a shot just wide of the net at the halfway point of the second half.
“The boys didn’t give up, and they kept pushing. That’s something we can take into the next game,” Meadows said. ” … They never gave up, and that’s something that I preach to them all the time — just don’t give up and keep running to the ball to put the pressure on.”
Vrist fell just 8:46 shy of a clean sheet Thursday. A foreign exchange student from Denmark, Vrist has been a welcomed addition to Jamestown’s team this season.
“He’s been a huge addition for our program. We’re really lucky to have him. He comes up with some big saves for us,” Schnars said. “He’s a great kid, he works hard, and he’s good, really good.”
Jamestown now looks ahead to Saturday’s nonleague contest with West Seneca in Jamestown.
Dunkirk hopes to build upon its strong finish to Thursday’s game tonight, as the Marauders host Silver Creek at 7 p.m. in a rematch of a previous 4-2 Dunkirk win.
“We hope we can get some shots in the back of the net and put the pressure on,” Meadows said.