September 10, 2013

NCCS, Saranac boys play to tie

CHAMPLAIN — Nine minutes and six seconds separated the Saranac boys’ soccer team from arguably the biggest upset of the young Northern Soccer League season. 

But Chase Sample had other ideas.

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The Northeastern Clinton junior collected a loose ball inside the 6-yard box and sent it home, helping the Cougars rally for a 1-1 draw in Division I play Monday.

“It was almost pure luck,” Sample said. “The Saranac defender misplayed the ball off his head, and I was right there to tap it in with my right foot. The timing couldn’t have been better.”

Northeastern Clinton maintained a 34-8 advantage in shots on goal, but could only manage one tally on Chiefs’ goalkeeper Jarrett Wright.

Wright, who went 190 minutes without being scored on in Saranac’s Preseason Invitational earlier this month, accumulated 21 saves in the match.

“I think their keeper kept them in the ballgame,” Cougars coach Dale Hawksby said. “It seemed like he was always in the right place at the right time. We had a couple unlucky bounces, too.”

After a scoreless first half, Saranac’s Austin Myers opened the game’s scoring at 18:07 of the second stanza. Myers, a returning starter from last year’s squad, floated a shot from nearly 40 yards and buried it.

“My teammates played it back to me, and I saw the goalie standing out on the 18-yard box,” Myers said. “I knew I had a strong enough foot to reach the net, so I just shot it. I give most of the credit to my teammates, though. They got me the ball, and I just capitalized on it.”

Hawksby was pleased with his team’s ability to bounce back, but questioned where its sense of urgency was during the first 60 minutes of play.

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