Storm girls suffer loss to Moriah

Saranac Lake’s Ayla Small, right, kicks the ball away from Moriah’s Emma Harrington during Wednesday’s contest at Schroeter’s Field. (Enterprise photo — Parker O’Brien)

SARANAC LAKE — For the first half of Wednesday’s contest, the Saranac Lake girls varsity soccer players found themselves in a tight battle with the Moriah Vikings at Schroeter’s Field.

But that wasn’t the case in the second half. The Vikings scored four unanswered goals on the way to a 5-1 victory over the Red Storm.

Moriah’s Amelia Kazlo powered her team with four goals to improve the Vikings’ record to 6-0. The loss dropped Saranac Lake to 1-4-1.

The Red Storm got off to a quick start when sophomore Tyler Burth netted a penalty kick around 12 minutes into the game. But just a few minutes later, the Vikings’ Emma Harrington made a pass to Kazlo to tie the game at 1-1.

“We really came out strong in the first 20 minutes,” Saranac Lake head coach Jason Wamsganz said. “We put a lot of pressure on and had the lead. We had a couple of defensive breakdowns, which is expected they have a fast forward (Kazlo), which puts pressure on teams.”

Saranac Lake’s Zuleyka Oliveras makes a play on the ball during Wednesday’s home contest against Moriah. (Enterprise photo — Parker O’Brien)

Tied 1-1 after intermission, Saranac Lake nearly regained the lead when senior forward Samra Cirikovic cut to the front of the net, before rifling a shot that tipped off the Vikings’ Hannah Gaddor’s hands and sailed over the net.

“For two-thirds of the first half and about a third of the second half, we were putting pressure on them again,” Wamsganz said. “Doing everything we’ve been discussing and in practice. Then we kind of got away from it a little bit, we had a couple of injuries and we had to move people around. You don’t want to make that excuse, but it does affect positions for sure.”

The Vikings took the lead when Kazlo scored on a penalty kick, but just a few minutes later sophomore Lizzie Harvey nearly evened things up when she collided with Gaddor and the ball slowly rolled toward the net. However, a Moriah defender made a sweeping save to kick the ball away.

Shortly after, Kazlo extended her team’s lead with back-to-back goals on a breakaway and a header to make the score 4-1. Moriah’s Mackenzie Ganyo scored its fifth goal on a pass from Anna Anderson.

“We started to get a little tired and a lack of focus a little bit,” Wamsganz said. “Then they were able to tie it up and jump up by one. When they went up by two, you could just tell our girls were just deflated.”

Despite coming up short, Wamsgamz was happy with how physical his team played, especially in the first half.

“I wasn’t sure how physical our team was going to be with a team like Moriah because they are always physical,” he said. “Then we got out of position and played a little more tentatively rather than being more aggressive.”

The Vikings outshot the Red Storm 27-22. Gaddor recorded eight saves, and Cora Hotchkiss had 12 for Saranac Lake. While Wamsganz thought Hotchkiss had a solid performance in net, he added that she allowed two goals that she typically wouldn’t.

“Probably nine times out of 10 she makes those saves,” he said. “But I explained to her that sometimes that’s just the way it goes. Sometimes you save nine out of 10, and the 10th goes in and that’s kind of the one you remember, unfortunately.”

The Red Storm will host Northern Adirondack at 4:30 p.m. today.


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