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OFA Posts Third Straight Central Division Soccer Win

BY DAVE SHEA

Gaining momentum in the NAC Central Division Boys Soccer race is very difficult because there are no easy victories.

OFA continued its stretch run surge with its third straight division win in a 2-0 home victory over Potsdam which the Devils controlled impressively.

Impressive was also the word to describe the goaltending of Potsdam sophomore Ansen Herrick who made any number of acrobatic stops in a 16-save performance which included a penalty shot stop on the Devils' Connor Griffith.

"Ansen is a sophomore who makes some mistakes because he is so young but he has outstanding reactions as a goalie. He has worked all of his life for this," said Potsdam Coach Al Benda.

OFA overcame Herrick's denial with a dominating possession game and the rearguard of Greg Mallott, Keighan Sias, Logan Horton and Nolan O'Donnell allowed the Stoners to very few chances. The Stoners' best chance in the second half was a well-struck shot from long range by Romano Sergie which goaltender Trent Lovely (5 saves) cradled on his way to a shutout.

"We continue to play very well. We are moving the ball well and Karson LaRose, Holden Woods and Connor Griffith are working off each other on offense," said OFA Coach Matt Morley.

"We could have scored a lot of goals today. We missed some chances but their goalie was outstanding. He made some diving stops and he made a great save on the penalty shot. Griff put it right inside the post but he got to it. We did a lot of good things and had a lot of chances against a Potsdam team which played is some games."

Two shots which Herrick had no chance to get to came from the combination of Karson LaRose and Holden Woods which produced a goal in each half. In the 32nd minute of the first half LaRose took a pass from Woods down the wing, carried the ball past a defender and went strong to goal and converted.

With 12 minutes to play in regulation LaRose carried the ball deep and relayed a back pass to Woods who struck the ball in full stride and buried it high in the net.

OFA climbed to 4-2-2 in divisional play and into third place behind 6-1-0 Malone which dropped Canton 3-1 on Wednesday and Salmon River (6-2-0) which turned back Massena 3-2 in double overtime, Potsdam is 0-7-0 in the Central Division but 4-1 in nonleague games.

OFA visits Massena on Friday and closes division play next week by hosting Malone.

Salmon River 3, Massena 2 OT: Jared Showen netted a penalty shot in the second overtime as Salmon River (6-2-0) stayed one point behind 6-1-0 Malone in the NAC Central Division race. Malone downed Canton 3-1 on Wednesday.

The first half scoring saw Massena's Shea Scully score from Garrett Engstrom in 25th minute and SR's Jared Showen convert from Gavin Cook-Avery in 34th minute

In the second half Massena 's Luke Von Borstel scored in 44th minute and SR's Clayton Jones scored from Kade Cook in the 79th minute.

SR John Miller made 10 saves and Massena's Ryan Herrick finished with 17 stops.

"We had to make a bunch of adjustments during the game both defensively and offensively.  The penalty shot in OT was a no brainer as we work on them in practice.  We hope to keep things going on Friday," said Salmon River Coach Tim Cook.

OFA's Connor Smith moves toward a cross in front of Potsdam goalie Conner Smith in Wednesday's Central Division soccer game.


OFA's Karson LaRose controls the ball with his heal operating against Potsdam defender.


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