FIFTY YEARS AGO…
Sullivan Booters End October on a High Note
by John Conway
FALLSBURG—The Sullivan County Community College soccer team had a rough start to October in 1971, 50 years ago this month, but they ended the month with three straight victories.
Sullivan was in the midst of a bit of a down cycle in soccer as the 1971 season unfolded, and their play to open the year did not promise a quick turnaround.
The Generals opened the season by losing their first five games, with perhaps their worst defeat coming at the hands of Mid-Hudson Conference rival and perennial powerhouse Orange County Community College, which pinned a 9-1 drubbing on Sullivan at Watts Park in Middletown on October 12.
The win improved the Colts record to 5-1 on the year, while the Generals fell to 0-5.
The game was an odd one in that although the first half ended with Orange up only 1-0, with the lone score coming less than three minutes into the contest when two of the Colt standouts, Giuseppi Bruni and John Serbetzian, combined on a goal, it was not really close, with Sullivan forced on the defensive for almost the entire time. Only the inspired play of goalie Ron Smith kept the Generals competitive.
Orange wasted little time separating itself once the third period began, however, scoring four goals within a three-minute span in the stanza, and adding four more goals in the closing quarter. Again, it was the so-called “gold dust twins,” Bruni and Serbetzian, who did most of the damage.
Bruni finished the afternoon with three goals and an assist, giving him 21 goals and five assists on the season, while Serbetzian, who had two goals against Sullivan, increased his season’s totals to 11 goals and 12 assists.
Orange ended the day with an impressive 66 shots against the Generals, forcing Sullivan goalie Ron Smith to make 26 saves.
Things improved for Sullivan from that point on, as they reeled off three wins in a row, highlighted by a thrilling 1-0 win over the New Paltz freshman team on Saturday, October 23. Richard Chiara scored a third period goal to seal the win for the Generals, who managed 42 shots on goal on the afternoon, while allowing the Hawks just nine.
The Generals ended the 1971 season finishing in last place among the six teams in the Mid-Hudson Conference, while Orange finished in a three-way tie for second with Ulster and Rockland. Westchester County Community College finished with a perfect slate to capture the conference title, while Dutchess edged out Sullivan for fifth place.
FIFTY YEARS AGO…