Hammond Girls, Heuvelton Boys Open With Strong Wins
BY DAVE SHEA
HEUVELTON - With no sectionals or state tournament this fall season the NAC Division titles are the championships which every boys and girls team is pursuing.
Defending NAC West winner and New York State semi-finalist Hammond showed its championship pedigree on Friday scoring a 2-0 season-opening win over Heuvelton as the first interscholastic games were held since COVID-19 shutdown the sports world in March.
In the boys matchup at Hammond, visiting Heuvelton verified its preseason optimism scoring five times in the first half and cruising to a 5-1 victory.
HAMMOND 2 - HEUVELTON 0 "It was so GREAT to see the girls finally play. And hopefully continue to play. As a coach it’s so unfortunate that the playoffs and states are canceled for this sports season. But our pride was out in force today and will be through this," said Hammond Coach Shawn Dack.
"Last years Final 4 core really lead by great example. And they showed what our newcomers need to do who filled in from last years seniors. Very exciting for them. To see the core seniors out there playing at the level they do was great to see again. And the rest of the girls. Awesome. We need to continue to grow. Gain more experience. And enjoy what we are doing out there. "
Senior Avery Kenyon scored both Hammond goals connecting off a cross from Norah Pease with 22:08 remaining in the first half and off pass from Hannah Belknap with 4:11 remaining in the game.
After the second goal Heuvelton enjoyed its best scoring threats of the game but Alyia Crosby closed out the win with a nice save to stop a hard by Molly Williams, made a quick move to the top of the penalty area to grab a through ball by Bella Doyle and cradled a shot by Ali Trathen.
Crosby finished with a three-save shutout and Emma LaFaver was very active in the Heuvelton goal handling 11 saves.
"Overall it was a good effort for our first game but when there are no playoffs and states every game means a great deal. We need our forwards to work back to the ball better and to play against a team like Hammond we have to go hard to every ball. They are a very tough team,," said Heuvelton Coach Gus Burns who honored his seniors in captain Grace Mills, Trista Ashley, Molly Williams, Emma LaFaver, Lara Martin, Amber Cunningham and Dakota West at the half.
"We have a great group of seniors and we have a group of freshmen who are going to be very good. Chasity Johnson went in and really played well."
HEUVELTON 5 - HAMMOND 2
"We had a great day, we scored five times in the first half, our defense of Cole Rickett, Tristan Lovely, Josh Wroble and Joe Wrobel was outstanding and Tristan Young did a great job in goal with 12 saves for his first varsity start," said Heuvelton Coach Bruce Durant.
"They have a good goalie but we just peppered him. But we have to keep working hard. We play Harrisville in our senior game and we have to be ready them."
Braeden Free scored two goals, Matt Basford and Dustin Dodd each delivered a goal and an assist and Jordan Sawyer added an assist for the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs fifth goal came off a defender as an own goal. Tyler Fleming buried a penalty shot in the first half for Hammond and Cooper Bennett scored on a break-way in the second half. Lukas McQueer finished with 16 saves in goal.
N-N DOWNS CHATEAUGAY BOYS
Ryan Emlaw's second goal in the 66th minute, lifted the Norwood-Norfolk Boys to a 2-1 win over Chateaugay in the NAC East opener
Hayden Bullock and Adam Niles provided the assists and Tyson Beaudin scored for Chateaugay in the 51st minute.