Article Courtesy of Oaklandpress
ROCHESTER HILLS >> Honoring its large senior class of 12 players in the regular season finale Tuesday, Rochester pulled all of the strands of its game together to produce a dominant performance in a 5-0 win over Novi.
The Falcons spaced four goals over the first half of play to take a commanding lead, continuing to control pace and possession after halftime to post the shutout.
“This was a full 80-minute game from us. We talked at the beginning about sending our seniors off the right way and we just came out and performed very, very well. We’ve really happy,” Rochester coach Chris Purgatori said.
Now 12-2-3 overall on the season, the Falcons await the results of a pair of OAA Red Division games on Thursday and Friday to learn whether its current first-place position in the league will stand up. Rochester will need losses by Troy Athens and Rochester Adams to claim the title with its 4-1-2 division record.
“I’m really proud of our defensive effort all year. We’ve played so many of the top teams and been really organized in the back. That’s credit to my goalkeeper (Luke Kastran) and the guys I rotate along the back line. They’re great kids with high soccer IQ.” Purgatori said.
Rochester’s first goal Tuesday came on a penalty kick opportunity by senior John Agoubi, which he buried just under nine minutes into the game.
Later in the half, Dean Tangalos sprung teammate Luciano Errecalde for a prime scoring opportunity in front that resulted in the second goal. Errecalde poked his shot around the goalkeeper to the far post from a tight angle.
With 17 minutes to go before halftime, Rochester assembled a quick counter attack after a midfield turnover. Errecalde’s pass from the corner was settled in front by senior Sid Osborn, who made a move around a defender to gain a shooting lane, firing it through the keeper for the goal.
Just over two minutes later, Errecalde recorded his second tally of the night to conclude the first-half scoring and put the Falcons in front 4-0.
“He’s a Mr. Soccer candidate and a special player,” Purgatori said of Errecalde. “We just let the game flow and it tends to flow to Luciano. We don’t gameplan to him, but when the ball is at his feet, special things will happen.”
Junior Spencer Christensen capped off the scoring with a goal in the second half for Rochester.
Novi dropped to 8-4-4 on the season.
The two teams will open the district playoffs on Monday with the Wildcats facing off against Northville and the Falcons playing host to Waterford Mott.
“It’s a huge advantage to host. Our fans are fantastic and we have our beautiful new facility,” Purgatori said