Assistant Sports Editor
CAMBRIDGE, N.Y. -- Rocky though the start has been, there is no denying Cambridge boys soccer is back.
All that remains now is that break-through goal, that break-through win.
In the Indians' first varsity home game in two years Tuesday, four different players scored for Schuylerville as the Black Horses upstaged the hosts, 4-0, in Wasaren League boys soccer.
"Being home, being the first varsity boys game in over a year, they wanted to play," Cambridge (0-2) coach James Ingber said of his young squad. "They wanted to do well and it showed. That energy was definitely there."
Cambridge, dealt a 6-0 defeat against Tamarac in the season-opener last week, allowed three goals in the first half before buckling down after the break.
"I think every day is getting a little better," Ingber said. "We're being more aggressive, understanding the game. This is still new to these guys.
"Besides two [players], this is only their second varsity game ever."
In the fourth minute, Dom Mercurio cleaned up the first corner kick for Schuylerville (2-2 overall, 2-0 league) to open the scoring. His cross from the right wing seven minutes later set up Will Nevins to double the lead.
"It was just possession, trying to get it to the corners -- that was our goal," Black Horses coach Dave Gauci said. "The first couple games we weren't using the sides so we just tried to keep getting it to the corners and see what happened."
After Matt Burkett struck from distance midway through the half, making it 3-0, Cambridge began to settle in defensively.
High pressure from sophomore forward Maxwell McNeil, gritty midfield work from Luke Bateman and Robert Wojtkun, and several long clearances from Parker Bruce all helped to cut off the early Schuylerville run.
"As a team they're getting their confidence, starting to feel better," Ingber said. "Against a veteran team like Schuylerville -- they have six, seven seniors, guys who've played varsity for three, four years -- it's tough."
Matt Saddlemire netted the final goal 16 minutes into the second half, but it was all Cambridge freshman goalkeeper Nate Gates would allow.
Gates found a groove after halftime and rattled off several difficult saves in a row to finish with 11 in the period and 16 for the game.
"I thought he played phenomenal," Ingber said. "Seeing the fast kicks, the size, I think he's going to keep getting better."
Patrick Castle made one save in the first half for Schuylerville. Clay Magnusen took the second half and narrowly escaped a pair of threatening scenes involving McNeil and Paul Baker-Porazinski in the final 20 minutes.
"There's potential, they're young," Gauci said of the Indians. "I see a lot of kids out there that are learning. [Ingber] will get them to play, they'll improve by the end of the year."