Red Storm hang on for first win

Brady Yando of Saranac Lake and Beekmantown’s Matt Smith chase the ball during Thursday’s match at Schroeter’s Field. (Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)

SARANAC LAKE — The Saranac Lake boys soccer team jumped out to a three-goal lead and then held on late to notch its first regular-season victory, edging Beekmantown 3-2 Thursday on home turf at Schroeter’s Field.

The Red Storm carried a 2-0 lead into intermission, found the back of the net once more early in the second half and then survived as the Eagles found the back of the net twice during the final 20 minutes of the match.

After slashing the deficit to a single goal, Beekmantown nearly sent the match into overtime after being awarded a direct kick at the top of the Red Storm penalty box in the closing seconds. The shot got through Saranac Lake’s defense, but Red Storm goalkeeper Zach Churco reached up to make the save as the buzzer sounded.

Two juniors accounted for Saranac Lake’s goals. Colter Cheney-Seymour was credited with two goals in the win and Rijad Cecunjanin buried one shot.

“We’ll take it, but we were spinning and sputtering,” Red Storm coach Josh Marlow said.

Saranac Lake senior Dylan Murnane moves on the ball in front of Beekmantown’s Zachary Bushey during the first half of Thursday’s match. (Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)

Saranac Lake got on the board quickly when Cheney-Seymour scored 3:50 into the match, converting a pass from Bryson Mariano. The Red Storm clearly held the upper hand with possession during the first half. The pressure helped lead to their second score, which came at the 32:32 mark on a fluke goal that snuck past an unorganized Eagles’ defense and was credited to Cheney-Seymour.

The Red Storm came out strong again in the second half, taking a 3-0 lead when Cecunjanin ripped a shot from 18 yards out past Beekmantown goalie Victor Mason.

Beekmantown then turned it into a contest on a pair of nice goals. Leo Golden netted the Eagles’ first, burying a 15-yard shot from the left side of the net after collecting a pass that Andrew Sorrell sent from the right side of the box.

Cole Nephew scored the next Eagles goal, ripping a shot into the right side of the net with 7:20 left on the clock.

Saranac Lake finished with a 19-6 edge in shots. Churco made four saves to earn the victory, while Mason recorded 13 stops in goal for Beekmantown, which dropped to 1-4 in Northern Soccer League play.

“It was nice to see that the guys didn’t give up. It was nice to see that they kept playing,” Beekmantown head coach Ryan Loucy said. “I’m sure I feel a lot like Josh in the sense that I wish we had played like that the whole game. He’s got his guys playing really hard, but they have their highs and lows as well. Again, nice to have come back but you like to see that effort the whole game.

“Saranac Lake possessed the ball well, they switched it up whether they were going to put the ball over us or pass around us,” Loucy added. “They really did a nice job of taking advantage of where we were lacking in our positioning.

Brad Rafferty, Saranac Lake’s co-head coach said he like the way his team started. However, he would have enjoyed seeing the Red Storm come up with a better finish to the match.

“We came out hard again. We’ve been coming out the past couple games pretty strong,” Rafferty said. “We got the early lead and then maybe got too comfortable toward the end. Everything went well until the last 20 minutes. They kind of stepped up their game and we seemed to back off at the same time. It was a pretty nerve-racking last five minutes. We have to put away teams when we have the chance.”