M-W, P-H Tie In Exciting Matchup
BY DAVE SHEA
MADRID - A 2-2 tie with Madrid-Waddington on Friday maintained Parishville-Hopkinton's one-point lead which could eventually decide the NAC East Division Boys Soccer race should the two teams win their last three game. P-H came out of the tie with a 9-1-1 record and 19 points and M-W stands at 8-2-1 for 17 points.
A big "should" since both teams have a match left with third place Chateaugay (7-2-1) and P-H also has two games with Colton-Pierrepont (6-4-0). M-W also plays Norwood-Norfolk and St. Regis Falls in the final week of the regular season
"Right now the tie got the job done in terms of the league. But you always want to win," said P-H Coach Mike Costanza.
"This was a very good game. Both teams controlled play at different points."
M-W Coach Ryan Robinson feels the intense and physical but skillful 100-minute draw should help both teams in the Section 10 Tournament. The Yellow Jackets will be the defending Class C champion and number one seed and the Panthers will be seeded very high in the Class D ranks.
"We didn’t play our best soccer for 80 full minutes tonight and it cost us. They should do well in the D playoffs. We have a tough league game on Tuesday and have to prepare for a finale against Chateaguay. Hopefully we can get everyone healthy," said M-W Coach Ryan Robinson
"It was a good game that was everything it was hyped to be."
Both teams showed skilled ball movement on offense and well coordinated defenses which showed the ability to move upfield and support their team's attack sequences.
The Jackets engineered the first threat of the day pressuring in the opening minutes and hitting a goalpost with one shot. But it was the Panthers who opened the scoring with a quick strike on a counter attack at 27:24 of the half. Branden Phippen found Stewart Ayers with a diagonal pass through the midfield and Ayers buried a hard a shot just under the crossbar.
The Jackets pulled even with the first of two goals originating off corner kicks by Matt Robinson. With 14:40 remaining in the half Robinson found Joey Green perched in front of the net for a close range headball.
Nine minutes into the second half Robinson curled a corner kick from the left corner and a leaping John McCall drove a header back into the right corner of the net from the middle of the penalty area. M-W forged a 7-0 advantage in corner kicks through regulation.
The Panthers netted their equalizer with 29:36 remaining in regulation when Phippen served the ball into the M-W defense and the high bounce created an open field race between Peyton Snell and M-W keeper Trent Lashua. Snell won he race and tucked the ball past the goaltender from point blank range.
P-H keeper Caleb Knowles preserved the lead with 1:39 when he stuffed a M-W shooter after being caught off his line in a scramble. The quick-reacting Knowles also made a quick dash to break up a dangerous situation in overtime after Cody Schweinberg stole the ball from a Panther defender.
Both Knowles and M-W's Lashua finished with four saves in the game. "I am proud of how my guys played tonight. They went to their go to guy in Peyton Snell and he put away away a 1 on 1. I was happy that we scored off our corners and that was another piece of our offense that we were working on for playoffs," said Coach Robinson.
C-P 1 - SLC 0: Cody Francis scored the only goal of the game and Aiden Knight stopped five shots for a shutout.