RICKY ST. CLAIR
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.
High School Sports Magazine
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.
“We talked about the intensity level at halftime,” Hawksby said. “The fans weren’t into it, and we weren’t showing any emotion out there. I told them at halftime, ‘We’ve got to get out there and regain our composure…get some fire going.’ But we found a way.”
The Cougars registered multiple point-blank shots on Wright during the first 10-minute overtime session, but couldn’t find the back of the net.
Despite being outshot 4-1 in the second go-around, the Chiefs were able to record a 1-all tie.
“This is the best we’ve ever played against NCCS,” Saranac coach Jim Testo said. “We have a young squad, and I have a lot of sophomores on the roster. For us to come together here in the last few weeks and play the way we did (Monday), it almost feels like a win. It’s exciting, and I’m really proud to be their coach (Monday).”
Ryan Parent was credited with the assist on Sample’s goal, and Brady Vassar accounted for seven saves in net for Northeastern Clinton.
The Cougars have a bye Wednesday, but travel to Beekmantown for their second consecutive Division I showdown Friday.
“We had a lot of shots (Monday), and we were relentless,” Sample said. “We’ve just got to capitalize by hitting the back of the net. At this point, we’ve just got to improve our shot placement.”
Northeastern Clinton 1, Saranac 1
Saranac 0 1 0 0 — 1
NE Clinton 0 1 0 0 — 1
Second half- 1, SCS, Myers, 18:07. 2, NCCS, Sample (Parent), 30:55.
Shots: Northeastern Clinton 34. Saranac 8.
Saves: Vassar, NCCS, 7. Wright, SCS, 21.
PHS 2, AuSable Valley 1
PLATTSBURGH — Josh Ferris and Taoufik Maknani picked an opportune time to score their first varsity goals to help the Hornets turn back the visiting Patriots.
Ferris finished off a nice pass into the 6-yard box from Jack Tolosky with Yanis Yahiaoui also assisting at 14:55 and then Maknani blasted a through ball into the upper right corner at 33:49 with the assist coming from Garrett Frady from atop the 18-yard box.
AuSable capitalized on Plattsburgh’s miscommunication in the defensive end to score at 36:22. Zach Cosgrove beat a PHS defender to the loose ball and scored from 15 yards out with the assist going to Austin Facteau.
“We controlled the field of play for the majority of both halves, we just could not finish on the numerous chances we created,” PHS Coach Chris LaRose said.
“Our offensive pressure was consistent in the midfield and in the corners, we just could not finish. But credit must go to AuSable for the way they played in their defensive one-third. They hustled and never gave up.”
Both keepers had excellent games: Jimmy Provost for AuSable and Mike Stetz for PHS.
John Fine-Lease, Tolosky and Frady had solid games for PHS while Brady Channell, Jacob Bushey and Dan Mihal were all over the field.
“Our defense was amazing considering the pressure PHS on us all game long,” AuSable Coach Bob Hamilton said.
“Elias Smith, Austin Facteau and Ian Rennie gave a great defensive effort for us in both halves. Up front, Zach Cosgrove gave a super human effort to score his first varsity goal. He is only a junior.”
PHS 2, AuSable Valley 1
AuSable Valley 1 0 — 1
Plattsburgh 2 0 — 2
First half: 1, PHS, Ferris (Tolosky, Yahiaoui), 14:55. 2, PHS, Maknami (Frady), 33:49. 3, AVC, Cosgrove (Facteau), 36:22.
Shots: PHS, 29; AuSable, 6
Saves: Stetz, PHS, 5; Provost, AVC, 14.