Earlier this afternoon, the McGraw boys soccer team defeated Poland 2-0 at home, improving to an (8-4) overall regular season record.
Poland came into this game with only one loss throughout their regular season (7-1 record).
At the beginning of the game, the Eagles were having a midfield battle with Poland. However, the Eagles were constantly doing damage by attacking the sidelines throughout the game. Which is how the first goal of the game was set up.
As sophomore midfielder Jackson Card dribbled down the left sideline, cut into the box and passed it to junior midfielder Caleb Smith, setting him up with an open net to make it 1-0 with 31:36 left in the first half.
After that, Poland began to press McGraw into their own side of the field, trying to level out the score before the end of the first half, but McGraw's defense was too much for them.
This allowed the Eagles to rely on quick counters to make some more damage.
Then, with there only being 14:39 left in the first half, the Eagles were able to form a counter attack in which Card dribbled down the right sideline and crossed the ball into the box, allowing senior forward Evan Ignatowski to score.
"We knew that this was going to be a very hard game," said McGraw head coach, Jamey Crumb. "We knew that they were going to be strong and we knew there were some key players we were going to watch out for. Other than that, we changed our formation a little bit to be more defensive minded. In the first half, we were creating chances with a few guys up and put them away. It was huge to get those two goals with only four-five shots."
Coming into the second half, Poland kept trying to break into the Eagle's defense, but Mcgraw's goalkeeper Nolan Knickerbocker was there leading the back-line and stopped every shot that came his way.
"We make sure that everyone is covered whenever we are on defense, so that they can't make through ball or even get past the 18 (meter line)." said Knickerbocker. "With that, we stay compact and none of the balls get through."
The Eagles will be coming back to play at home on Tuesday, October 8th for a rematch against Cincinnatus. The game will begin at 4:30 p.m.
Here are some photo's of this afternoon's game (all photos provided by Ross Cohen/Cortland Voice):