Chris Bailey used to coach Corey Gregg and Mark Woodrow. Monday night, he coached against them.
Bailey's Schalmont boys soccer team made the crosstown trek to play Gregg's Mohonasen Mighty Warriors. And though the Sabres prevailed 3-1, Bailey was quick to credit Gregg's team for a hard-fought battle.
My hat's off to him, said Bailey. "We scrimmaged them before the season, and they've im-proved vastly since then."
"I knew what to expect from them," said Gregg, who graduated from Schalmont in 1999 along with Woodrow, who is his assistant coach. "They play the same way they did when I was there. (Bailey) gets them to play hard. Physically, it's a tough match-up for us."
Jordan Flores was the difference for Schalmont (7-0) on this night. The senior defenseman scored two goals off corner kicks to lead the Sabres to victory.
"He is our last line of defense, but he is also a high jumper (for the track team), so he can get up there in the air," said Bailey. "That's why I like moving him up for corner kicks and free kicks. He can get up there, and he challenges goalkeepers every time."
Flores' first goal gave Schalmont a 1-0 lead in the first half, but it was short lived. Mohonasen's Trey Jasenski took a pass from Joseph Crounse and tucked it inside the goalpost to tie the game at 1.
"I was disappointed because it was a defensive mistake by our marking back, and our goalie thought it was going to go out of bounds," said Bailey. "Of course, it went in the back of the net."
"That goal pumped us up and brought them down," said Gregg, "but the next goal was questionable."
The next goal came shortly before halftime. The referee called a penalty kick after a Schalmont player collided with a Mohonasen defender in the penalty box while going up for a head ball. Fabio Urbano converted the penalty kick to give the Sabres a 2-1 lead.