Youthful Loudonville Christian team learning the ropes

When grading the Loudonville Christian boys soccer team's performance this year, it's best to use a curve.

While the Eagles are hovering around the .500 mark in the Central Hudson Valley League, they are doing so with a group of young players who play every opponent tough.

This is a very different year for us, said Loudonville Christian coach Jeff King. "We don't have a lot of senior leadership. What we do have is a bunch of young guys who are learning the game."

When the Eagles (5-4-1 league, 6-6-1 overall) have won, it's because their offense has had a big day. They've scored three or more goals in a game six times this season including last Monday's 3-1 CHVL victory over Heatly.

Dillon King " one of the returning starters from last year's CHVL championship team " has been the undisputed leader of the offense. The junior is second among all Section II players in scoring with 24 goals and 10 assists (58 points). But, King has had help from the likes of sophomores Eric Hudspath (seven goals, two assists) and Leo Pusatere (four goals, seven assists), as well as junior Koury Deeb (four goals, five assists).

"(Dillon is) the guy we look to score goals, that's for sure," said coach King of his son. "But, you can't be a one-dimensional team. We've got a number of kids scoring goals."

The defense hasn't been as strong as it was last year, but sophomore goaltender Alex MaLossi has done what he can to keep opponents off the scoreboard. MaLossi went through a four-game stretch where he allowed two or fewer goals before giving up five to second-place Waterford in a 5-1 loss last Wednesday.

"(MaLossi) has developed this year," said King. "The defense is a little more porous than last year. We do have some guys who are new to their positions. So, Alex has had to take it to another level. In my opinion, Alex is one of the best goalies around."

With a strong offense and a solid goaltender, King said he is hopeful for a good run in the Section II, Class D playoffs.

"We really are shooting for the playoffs," he said. "If we can get a couple more things in place on defense, I think we can do well."

Following a non-league home game against Bishop Gibbons Tuesday, Loudonville Christian has two road games to conclude the regular season. The Eagles visit Berlin Friday and Germantown next Monday.""

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