The improvement of Salmon River in the second half of the NAC Central Boys Soccer season was obvious as OFA needed to rally from a 1-0 deficit and play excellent defense down the stretch to gain a 2-1 win over the Shamrocks on Friday at Kennedy School.
The win kept the 6-0-2 Devils one point ahead of 6-1-1 Canton in the NAC Central race. Canton blanked Massena 2-0 on Friday.
OFA Coach Matt Morley said the contest was an illustration of a message he has been sending to his team.
This is the time of the year when we have to start getting better. Salmon River played extremely well and very aggressively and we played on our heels in the first half, said OFA Coach Matt Morley.
It was tough for us today because we were missing Dave Prudhomme and Seth Pinkerton and they mean a lot to us defensively and offensively. I was very happy for the way we stepped it up in the second half and our defense played very well all day. Tristan Moore had a big game at sweeper and DaKota Brady did a good job matching up with Antoine Domino who was outstanding. Nate Peo moved back and did a good stop at stopper and Hayden Woods and Jed McRoberts gave us excellent minutes off the bench along with Zach Ashley and Andrew Roddy who just hustled all over the place.
The Shamrocks scored 2:20 into the game when Stephen Tremblay converted a header off a cross by Antoine Domino after the relentless forward forced a turnover.
Antoine Domino was just on fire today. He just never quit pressuring the defense and made some great runs with the ball, said Salmon River Coach Ben Barkley.
We have a lot of sophomores playing out there and they are coming on. I was very impressed today.
OFA pulled even at 8:10 when Peyton Lalone ran onto pass from Jordan Miller, raced past the defensive pursuit and rifled home a low shot from the left flank.
Lalone also supplied a well-placed corner kick which started a scramble which culminated with Rudy Binion scoring the lone goal of the second half out of maze of players in the eighth minute.
Jake Sias posted a six-save goaltending win and Zach Smith handled four saves fro Salmon River (2-5).
Canton 2, Massena 0:The visiting Bears (8-2-1, 6-1-1) scored early goals in each half en route to bouncing back from their first divisional loss of the season.
Jake Facey finished off a play set up by Jacob Oatman just 1:31 into the game. Matt Mende added the insurance goal 3:20 into the second half assisted by Stephen Folk and Alden Slack.
We played well enough to win but we just didnt finish, noted coach Pat Henrie.
Scott Wight handled the eight shots in the shutout while Brendan Broderick logged seven saves for the Raiders (4-9, 2-5).