COURTNEY LEWIS Press-Republican
PLATTSBURGH — The Plattsburgh High School Hornets edged Saranac Lake on Tuesday, keeping themselves in the race for the Northern Soccer League Division I championship.
Yanis Yahiaoui scored in the first half, and although the Red Storm put on more pressure in the second, Plattsburgh held them off for a 1-0 victory. The Hornets (8-5-1, 8-3-1) close the regular season Thursday at Beekmantown, and coach Chris LaRose said they can finish tied for first in the division if they beat the Eagles.
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“To beat as talented and quick a team as Saranac Lake two times this year was very important for us,” LaRose said. “It gives us a chance now to keep battling for the division title when we go to Beekmantown on Thursday.”
The Hornets kept the ball out of their end for much of the first half, and Saranac Lake (8-4-1, 8-4) did not get a shot on goal.
Plattsburgh took the lead 8:42 before halftime. Garrett Frady headed the ball over to Yahiaoui, who was waiting near the left post and sent a low shot into the far side of the net.
“First of all, Frady had a great header,” Yahiaoui said. “And then I just had a chance, and I finished it.”
Yahiaoui has three goals and four assists on the season.
“He’s got probably the best foot skills on the team, and he has the soccer intelligence to be where he needs to be to take advantage of the gap when it appears,” LaRose said. “That’s exactly what happened (Tuesday). He did everything I’ve asked him to do in practice — he kept his shot low, and he went far post.”
The Red Storm tested Plattsburgh’s defense more in the second half. Their best chance was a hard shot from the left side that hit the crossbar. Mike Stetz made two saves to preserve the shutout.
The Hornets knew going into the game that Saranac Lake’s speed would challenge them.
“In the first half, I thought we dominated play with our possession, and it kept it away from them,” LaRose said. “The second half, we fell more into their kind of game, which is long ball. And that falls right into their strengths, and that’s why we struggled a little bit defensively.”
Oliver Holmes turned away seven shots in net for the Red Storm.
Plattsburgh began the season by losing three of its first five games but then won four straight. The Hornets are currently on a three-game unbeaten streak. LaRose said they’re hitting their stride.
“We’re starting to jell together; we’re starting to get used to each other,” Yahiaoui added. “Our possession is getting better. So we’re creating more chances for ourselves.”
Plattsburgh 1, Saranac lake 0
Saranac Lake 0 0 — 0
Plattsburgh 1 0 — 1
First half- 1, PHS, Yahiaoui (Frady), 31:18.
Shots: Saranac Lake 3, Plattsburgh 8.
Saves: Holmes, SL, 7. Stetz, PHS, 2.
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