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Lisbon, OFA return to tourney finals

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The Lisbon versus Heuvelton rivalry got the Northern Athletic Conference Girls Soccer season off to a dramatic opening on Tuesday night. The Knights and Bulldogs played to a 2-2 tie through overtime and went to the second round of a shootout before deciding the first finalist for the OFA Girls Soccer Tournament.

Defending champion OFA downed Norwood-Norfolk 1-0 in the second game of the night which was the NAC Central Division opener. Tonight’s action will see N-N and Heuvelton meeting at 6 p.m. followed by OFA and Lisbon in the championship game.

Lisbon will host the opening game of the NAC West Boys Soccer season today against Hermon-DeKalb in a 4:30 p.m. start.

Devils Seek Repeat: Riley Luckie scored from close range with five minutes to play to carry OFA to a 1-0 win in Coach Al Rishe Jr’s debut as the Lady Devils coach.

Rishe prevailed in a matchup of two former OFA players with N-N’s Jayne Bishop and commented that his team must improve their offensive play to effectively match up with Lisbon tonight in the championship game.

“Lisbon is a very good team with an outstanding goalie. We have develop our passing combinations and get more shots on goal. Riley Luckie scored a nice goal tonight and we have to develop more crosses on offense” said Rishe after Kirsten Snyder stopped eight shots to record her firsrt varsity shutout.

“It was a tough game and tonight we worked very hard. It was really nice to win that first game. Our MVP tonight was definitely Courtney Sherwin at sweeper. She saved us several times.”

Sherwin rotated back to break up a potential Flyer breakaway with 9:46 and 4:46 to play and Riley drilled a shot high into the net off a long through pass from Taylor Smith.

Megan Plumb handled six shots for the Flyers.

Lisbon Wins Shootout: Lisbon advanced to the title game with a 1-0 edge in the second round of the shootout after the Knights and Bulldogs each scored three times in the first penalty shot round.

“This was just a great confidence builder for our girls,” said Lisbon Coach Scott Richardson after the Knights tied the reigning division champions and then moved into the title game for the second straight year on the strength of senior halfback Hanna Richardson’s goal and three saves by goaltender Jackie Sovie in the second penalty kick round. Sovie capped a brilliant night in goal by making three straight saves after the first HCS shooter lifted a shot over the crossbar.

Sovie, who handled 15 shots on the night, also scored to earn Lisbon a 3-3 tie in the first shootout round. In the second round of the shootout, Richardson faded her decisive shot just inside the right goalpost just out of the reach of Heuvelton keeper Paige McCormick who made three of her seven saves in the shootout.

Beth Crowley and Maeve Bowdish also scored for the Knights in the first round of the shootout and Alex Steele, Hannah Thornhill and Rachel Thornhill answered for HCS.

Lisbon’s Maddie Vine deftly buried direct kicks to open the night’s scoring and to erase a 2-1 Heuvelton lead in the first overtime. Vine scored from a 20 yards out on the right flank in the 15th minute of the game and then rattled a 25-yard topspin laden drive off the crossbar and into the next with 2:39 remaining in the first 10-minute OT.

Heuvelton gained a 1-1 tie with 8:42 remaining in the first half when Alexis Weidner controlled a pretty chip pass from Hannah Thornhill and buried a shot range drive. The Bulldogs took a 2-1 lead in the second minute of overtime when Weidner used a perfect sharp-angle strike to one-touch a long pass from defender Maddie St. Pierre into the far corner of the net.

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