By Jim Hague
Observer Sports Writer
Lyndhurst High School boys’ soccer coach Rob Kost is trying to find some continuity with his team. It’s not easy.
“We’ve had our share of injuries and red cards,” Kost said. “It’s tough to compete without a full team. We’re maneuvering a lot. I’m impressed with the effort.”
Recently, Kost added a freshman to the lineup and Doug DaSilva has provided a bit of a boost.
“It seemed as if he lit a fire under everyone,” Kost said of DaSilva. “I think that’s the spark we needed to get going.”
DaSilva scored a goal and added an assist in his varsity debut.
“It’s just what we needed,” said Kost, whose team now has a 4-5 record this season. “He was all over the field. Being shorthanded, we didn’t have much up top, but we’ve definitely evolved since we put him in.”
The Golden Bears’ goalkeeper is senior Matt Lemke, who Kost called “the emotional leader of the team.”
Lemke missed some time at the beginning of the season due to a sprained ankle, but he’s returned to maintain stability in goal.
Kost has been juggling players at the sweeper position, using players like versatile senior Giuseppe Pollicino and sophomore Andrew Cosman at the spot.
“Giuseppe has been the backbone and solidifies the back, so we move him around,” Kost said.
The stopper is senior Erik Marulanda, who missed all of last season with a knee injury, but has returned this season entirely healthy.
“Getting him back was a big help to us,” Kost said.
The other defenders are seniors Danny Zerboni and Devin O’Donovan and promising sophomore Montana Thungasson.
Senior Anthony Cardaci, who started last year as the Golden Bears’ goalkeeper, then moved to midfield, has returned to his midfield slot. Cardaci gives Kost the option of playing him in either spot. Cardaci has scored two goals this season.
Another key midfielder is senior Anthony Giaquinto, who only played two games last year due to an injury.
“We’re so glad to have him back,” Kost said of Giaquinto. “He’s doing great. It’s been a pleasure to have him. He’s one of our most skillful players. He always comes determined to play.”
Senior Michael Polito, who also is a fine basketball player in the winter months, is another key contributor from his midfield slot. Sophomore Giovanni Arcelentas is making major strides as a member of the Lyndhurst midfield.
Seniors Matt Lima and Matt Stevens and junior Edgar Bravo are forwards in the Golden Bears’ lineup, joined now by the addition of the energetic DaSilva.
Although the Golden Bears suffered a tough one-sided loss to North Arlington and high-scoring Danny Cordeiro last week, Kost still feels that his team has perhaps turned the corner.
“I think we’re getting better,” Kost said. “Unfortunately, we got off to such a slow start, but now that we have some emotion and passion, we’re a totally different team. We played a strong game against Harrison (a 3-0 loss), so that helped us. For now, it’s all about building character. I’m really looking forward to seeing what we have in us. I’m hoping we can roll off a couple of wins.”
Kost knows what the Golden Bears have to do.
“We have to play our game,” Kost said. “We have to possess the ball better and mount a counter attack. We’re getting better.”
Luckily for the Golden Bears, the season is only half over. There is time for recovery – and thanks to the spirit of a freshman, Lyndhurst has apparently found that opportunity to be an improved team in the middle of the season.