CHAZY — — State-ranked Northeastern Clinton flexed its muscles while Ian Spear led an improbable Peru comeback Saturday night in the Section VII Class B boys’ soccer semifinals.
The top-seeded Cougars pulled away to a 3-0 victory over Plattsburgh High and Spear’s three goals rallied the second-seeded Indians to a 4-3 win over Beekmantown at George Brendler Field.
NCCS and Peru will meet for the B title on Friday at 7 p.m. in Chazy.
Peru 4, Beekmantown 3
When Adam Goldfarb scored his second goal of the game, with 19:16 gone in the second half, to give the Eagles a 3-1 lead, it was looking good for Beekmantown.
But then Spear took over.
He took a pass from Jacob Dick and got behind the Eagles’ defense to bring Peru to within 3-2 shortly after, at 20:13.
Then, following an Indian corner kick and ensuing scramble in front, Spear headed the ball into the net to tie it at 25:47.
Spear finished off his three-goal performance when Jonathan Plessis-Belair got him the ball and the junior sent a sensational shot from an angle into the far corner to put the Indians in front for the first time in the game, with 6:16 left in regulation.
“We showed more cohesion in the second half and the key players on the team stepped up for us,” said Peru coach Matt Armstrong. “I’m happy because our players were able to respond.”
The Eagles held a 1-0 lead at the half on Goldfarb’s first goal of the contest. Austin Burl crossed the ball in front and Goldfarb slid onto it and one-timed it into the net.
The Indians drew even at 7:32 of the second half. Dick took a free kick and Plessis-Belair headed the ball into the back of the net.
But back came Beekmantown to take a 3-1 advantage.
An Eagles’ direck kick was laid off to the side to Brenden Carnright, who crossed the ball in front to Alex Price, who scored at the 10:14 mark.
Then at 19:16, Price sent a hard shot from the side on net and Goldfarb was there to clean up on the rebound to give Beekmantown a 3-1 advantage.
The Indians finished with a 14-11 edge in shots.
“Give a lot of credit to Beekmantown,” said Armstrong. “They’re well coached and played hard all game.
“We made some fundamental defensive mistakes in the first half, but we relied on the core players on our team to rally us. We’re in the finals and we have some work left to do.”
Northeastern clinton 3, Plattsburgh 0
The Hornets, with Michael Stetz playing extremely well in net, gave the unbeaten Cougars a good game.
NCCS (15-0 overall), the fifth-ranked team in the state in Class B, held only a 1-0 lead until the 25:15 mark of the second half when Dustin Poupore sent a hard shot from straight on into the net from just outside the penalty area.
Then with just 45 seconds remaining in regulation, Colby Provost tallied on a rebound off his original shot to make it 3-0.
The Cougars led, 1-0, at the half. Their first goal came at the 28:21 mark Avery Trombley’s corner kick was headed into the net by Kyle McCarthy. Trombley finished with two assists.
“We had a lot of quality shots on net and possessed the ball well,” said NCCS coach Dale Hawksby. “But Plattsburgh gave a great effort and nothing is going to be given to us this time of the year.
“We just had to focus on playing our game and use the outside of the field. Getting the first goal was so important for us and we began to play even better after we got the second one.”
The Cougars held a 22-5 advantage in shots and Josh Rabideau made four saves for the shutout. Stetz stopped 15 shots for the Hornets.
“Stetz was a recent call-up and he did a good job for us,”said Plattsburgh coach Chris LaRose. “I don’t think the final score was indicative of the game — I thought our kids gave a great effort.
“But Northeastern showed why they’re the fifth-ranked team in the state. They’re strong from back to front. The sectional games against Saranac (1-0 win) and Northeastern Clinton were good building blocks for our younger players to get experience.”
“We were favored going in and had to stay focused,” said Hawksby. “I thought players like Austin Tetreault, Dustin Poupore and Tom Bedard, as usual, were strong for us. I felt our whole defense played well.”
Northeastern Clinton 3, Plattsburgh 0
Plattsburgh 0 0 — 0
Northeastern Clinton 1 2 — 3
First half- 1, NCCS, McCarthy (Trombley), 28:21.
Second half- 2, NCCS, Poupore (Marks), 25:15. 3, NCCS, Provost (Trombley), 39:15.
Shots: Northeastern Clinton 22, Plattsburgh 5.
Saves: Rabideau, NCCS, 4. Stetz, PHS, 15.
Peru 4, Beekmantown 3
Beekmantown 1 2 — 3
Peru 0 4 — 4
First half- 1, Beek, Goldfarb (Burl), 5:40.
Second half- 2, P, Plessis-Belair (Dick), 7:32. 3, Beek, Price (Carnright), 10;14. 4, Beek, Goldfarb (Price), 19:16. 5, P, Spear (Dick), 20:13. 6, P, Spear, 25:47. 7, P, Spear (Plessis-Belair), 33:44.
Shots: Peru 14, Beekmantown 11.
Saves: Danis, P, 6. M. LaClair, Beek, 9.