Chazy powers past Lake Placid
LAKE PLACID — Depleted by graduation, the Lake Placid boys soccer team had a tough task on its hands when it opened the regular season against perennial powerhouse Chazy on Wednesday.
At least for the first time around, the Blue Bombers didn’t have much of a chance after the Eagles netted their first goal.
Chazy scored once in the opening half and tacked on two more tallies after intermission to blank Lake Placid 3-0 in Northern Soccer League Division II action.
Alex Chapman and Bryan McAfee recorded a goal and an assist each to lead Chazy, and Justin Collins also found the back of the net in the victory. Josh McCauley added an assist and Ben Norcross registered nine saves to earn the shutout win in nets.
Lake Placid hung tough early, but Chazy appeared to take control the moment Collins boomed a long shot off the crossbar and into the net 24:07 into the game to grab a 1-0 edge. The Eagles went on to score two more goals on corner kicks during a span of less than three minutes midway through the second half to secure the victory.
“We have three returners and we have young, young players,” Lake Placid coach Stuart Hemsley said. “When your first game of the season is against someone who is looking to win a state championship, that’s a tall order. I thought the first half we handled ourselves well, but we can pass a lot better than we did.
“We did not get it down and play like I want us to, like I know we can,” Hemsley continued. “It was frustrating. They had one good goal. The others were scrappy and we didn’t defend. They were both from corners and we know how to defend corners. I don’t want us to fear corners.”
“I don’t think we played very well in the first 15, 20 minutes, and then the goal by Justin Collins — it was a great, great goal — just changed things dramatically,” said Chazy coach Rob McAuliffe. “I think we calmed down after that and began to possess the ball more and generate chances. That was a big moment for us.”
Although the Blue Bombers struggled on offense, both coaches noted that the hosts played pretty solid defense led by senior Jaso Hannula. McAuliffe said his team was fortunate to cash in on a pair of corner kicks, starting with a header by McAfee at the 15:27 mark of the second half that gave Chazy a 2-0 advantage. Chapman went on to boot home a bouncing ball through traffic less than three minutes later to seal the deal.
“Lake Placid has some very good players and they defended well today, especially No 5 (Hannula),” McAuliffe said. “They made it difficult for us to generate chances off the run and play. We knew those restarts would have to be important to us to get a goal or two off corner kicks, and that’s what we were able to do. We’re happy to get the win.”
“Jaso was magnificent,” Hemsley said. “It’s three nil and he’s still driving our guys on. He didn’t put a foot wrong today. That’s the Jaso that I want to be having a great season. He bides his time, and the others can learn from him.”
Hemsley also credited two of his other defenders, Hayden Plank and Cobane Bissonette, with solid performances.
“Our whole back line played well,” Hemsley said.
Lake Placid next plays Friday at Willsboro starting at 4:30 p.m. Chazy’s next match is also Friday at home against Keene.
Chazy 3, Lake Placid 0
Eagles 1 2 — 3
Blue Bombers 0 0 — 0
1. C, Collins (Chapman), 24:07.
2. C, McAfee (McCauley), 15:27; 3. C, Chapman (McAfee), 18:24.
Shots: Chazy 16, Lake Placid 9
Saves: C, Norcross 9; LP, Novick 13.