SARANAC LAKE - With an opportunity to pick up a much-needed win Tuesday, the Saranac Lake boys soccer team battled for 100 minutes in the rain with Plattsburgh on a muddy Schroeter's Field.
But instead of getting a victory, the Red Storm had to settle for a 1-1 draw.
In a match that went through 80 minutes of regulation and 20 more of scoreless sudden-death overtime, the only goals recorded were one by the Hornets early in the game and another by the Red Storm at the start of the second half. The rest of the play was evenly-matched as both teams generated some solid opportunities to net a potential game-winning goal.
Saranac Lake junior midfielder Brad Shumway slide tackles the ball away from a leaping Dan Mihal of Plattsburgh during the second half of Tuesday’s Northern Soccer League, Division 1 match in Saranac Lake.
(Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)
Blake Battistoni of Saranac Lake, right, steps in front of Plattsburgh’s Mohamed Eltahir to get to the ball during the first half of Tuesday’s game. Also pictured is Red Storm junior Devin Cowan.
(Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)
The visiting Hornets controlled much of the opening half, and took a 1-0 lead just 2:27 into the match when Nick Dodd scored off an assist from Jack Tolosky. Then with 1:27 gone in the second half, Red Storm junior Brad Shumway evened the contest at 1-1 when he buried a penalty shot on what proved to be the final tally of game.
Looking to begin a climb from the bottom of the Northern Soccer League Division I standings, Saranac Lake left the pitch with a 1-6-1 record, while Plattsburgh moved to 3-4-2.
"This was a pretty important game for us," said Saranac Lake coach Bill Wilson. "We need to start getting some wins to improve our playoff seeding, and a win today would have really helped. It was a battle back and forth all game.
"I think they outplayed us in the first half, and in the second half we started working the ball and put some pressure on them," Wilson added. "We just couldn't bury one. Both teams certainly had their chances."
Two of those opportunities came during late stages of the match when a player from each team missed notching a goal by the slightest of margins. Saranac Lake's closest miss on a potential game-winning goal came with 8:15 left in regulation when left wing Jeff Stevens fired a shot toward the far post and the ball rolled a foot wide of the mark.
The Hornets then nearly put the game away with less than four minutes left in the second overtime when Chris Gray found himself with the ball and wide open in front of the Red Storm net. Gray got a shot off, but fired it right at Saranac Lake goalkeeper Oliver Holmes, who made the save and smothered the ball.
Plattsburgh held a 14-9 edge in shots. Holmes, as well as Plattsburgh goalie Robbie Knowles, both had outstanding performances. Holmes finished with 13 saves and Knowles recorded seven stops.
The Red Storm's next start will be as tough a test as it gets when they travel Thursday to face unbeaten Northeastern Clinton. In the first meeting between the two teams, the Cougars came away with a 6-0 victory in Saranac Lake.
Saranac Lake 1, Plattsburgh 1
1. P, Dodd (Tolosky), 2:27.
2. SL, Shumway, 1:30, PK.
Shots: Plattsburgh 14, Saranac Lake 9
Saves: P, Knowles 7; SL, Holmes 13.