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Storm boys bump Bombers in OT to make finals

AuSable Valley's Korvin Dixon (24) fends off the defensive effort of Saranac's Alex Strack during a Northern Soccer League Fall Tournament Mountain Region semifinal Wednesday in Saranac. (Provided photo — Joey LaFranca, Press-Republican)

LAKE PLACID — Bryson Mariano’s second goal of the game, coming just 45 seconds into overtime, gave the Saranac Lake Red Storm their victory over the Lake Placid Blue Bombers Wednesday in the Northern Soccer League Fall Tournament Mountain Region semifinals.

The Red Storm will take on Saranac, a 4-0 winner over AuSable Valley in the other semifinal, in Saturday’s finals.

“We didn’t waste any time in overtime,” Saranac Lake coach Brad Rafferty said. “Bryson headed the ball in after Gabe Wilson’s shot bounced off the crossbar.”

Mariano put the Red Storm in the lead late in the first half at 38:32 before Joose Kahkonen tied it with a penalty kick for Lake Placid in the second half.

“We came out strong and controlled play for most of the first half, nearly cashing in on several opportunities,” Rafferty said.

“Lake Placid played much stronger in the second half. There were chances at both ends and the play was fairly even. Just before the mask break, Lake Placid was awarded a penalty kick on a scramble for a loose ball.”

Saranac Lake finished with an 11-3 advantage in shots on goal.

“I thought our first half was the most dominant soccer we have played all year,” Rafferty said. “It was nice to get the result today after dropping so many hard-fought games during the regular season.

“Bryson had a great game with two goals, and Colter Cheney-Seymour had a standout performance in the middle of the field.”

Saranac Lake 2, Lake Placid 1, OT

Saranac Lake 1 0 1 — 2

Lake Placid 0 1 0 — 1

First half: 1, SLCS, Mariano (Hayden), 38:22.

Second half: 2, LPCS, Kahkonen pk,

First overtime: 3, SLCS, Mariano (Wilson), :45.

Shots: Saranac Lake 11, Lake Placid 3.

Saves: McCarthy, SL, 2. Armstrong, LP, 4

Saranac blanks AuSable

SARANAC — Saranac broke the game open with three second-half goals Wednesday evening and recorded a 4-0 blanking of AuSable Valley.

Nik Hamel gave the Chiefs the lead late in the first half, and then Hamel, Jack Mather and Connor Burns all scored in the second stanza.

Branden Ashley turned aside five shots in the Saranac nets to get the shutout and Scott LaMountain made 10 saves for the Patriots.

“We were trying to be vertical at the beginning instead of using the outside to our advantage and then using the middle to our advantage,” Saranac coach Calvin Hamel said. “We made some adjustments at halftime. We controlled possession in the second half and limited their chances.

“Zane Moussa and Tristan Laundree stood out for AuSable Valley.

“We are really excited to be playing in the championship. I have 11 seniors. They did not want to lose tonight. We have looked at every game as a blessing in disguise. We have to leave everything out there. We thought any game could be our last game.”

“It’s difficult to beat the same team three times in a season,” Hamel said. “Saranac Lake has played us very tough. They are well coached and will give us everything they have.”

Saranac 4, AuSable Valley 0

AuSable Valley 0 0 — 0

Saranac 1 3 — 4

First half: 1, SCS, Hamel (Mather), 33:22.

Second half: 2, SCS, Hamel (Mather), 6:18. 3, SCS, Mather (own goal), 23:27. 4, SCS, Burns (Strack), 39:12.

Shots: Saranac 17, AuSable Valley 5

Saves: LaMountain, AVCS, 10. Ashley, SCS, 5.

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