SARANAC LAKE - It wasn't a league game, but it was quite a battle anyway.
The Northwood School and Saranac Lake put their early-season unbeaten records on the line when they met up in a boys soccer match at Schroeter's Field on Tuesday. After going at it for 80 hard minutes, the teams settled for a 1-1 draw.
Two senior captains accounted for the goals. David Cluckey scored for Saranac Lake in the first half and Josh Grieveson buried the equalizer for the Huskies in the second stanza.
Saranac Lake’s Jeff Stevens, right, and Ed Accetta of the Northwood School in Lake Placid battle for the ball in front of Huskies’ goalkeeper Parker Bishop during Tuesday’s match.
(Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)
Saranac Lake’s Devin Cowan controls the ball while drawing a trio of Northwood defenders, including Zak Shiekh (right), Ben MacFarlane and Charl Pretorius during Tuesday’s match at Schroeter’s Field in Saranac Lake.
(Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)
Saranac Lake entered the game with a 3-0 record and on a hot streak after knocking off three Northern Soccer League Division I foes to start the season. Meanwhile, the game was the second this fall for Northwood, which kicked off its schedule Saturday with a 2-1 victory over the Hoosac School.
"It's always fun to come over here and play Saranac Lake, especially this year," Northwood coach Tom Broderick said. "They have a really good team and they were a really good test for us. This was a great soccer game."
"They always play physical soccer," Saranac Lake coach Josh Marlow said. "This wasn't a league game, but it was still Saranac Lake and Northwood. They always play a hard match every year. Obviously, we would have liked to win. We are a little disappointed because we came into this undefeated, but we didn't lose."
The Red Storm held a 30-15 edge in shots in a game that saw both teams mount runs into the opponent's defensive zone. The Red Storm had the better scoring chances, but Huskies' keeper Parker Bishop was up to the task.
"We finally have ourselves a real goalie," Broderick said. "He's tough, he's aggressive and he knows how to play the position. It's great having him back there."
Bishop didn't have a chance on Cluckey's goal, which came at the 31:42 mark of the opening half. Devin Cowan, another Red Storm captain, started the play by chasing a loose ball in front of the net. The ever-dangerous Cowan drew in the Huskies defense, which left Cluckey alone on the doorstep for a wide-open shot.
Grieveson notched Northwood's goal early in the second half on what was also a great play. He one-timed a shot into the far side of the net past Saranac Lake keeper Oliver Holmes after taking control of a cross that was chipped into the box.
"Josh is our captain; he's been with us for four years, and he came through," Broderick said. "In my 25 years coaching, that was probably the prettiest goal I've ever seen.
"Saranac Lake is strong, they are fast, and in the first half, I don't think we were ready for them," Broderick added. "We did a much better job possessing and moving the ball in the second half."
After regulation, the teams played scoreless during a pair of 10-minute overtimes.
"A lot of our shots just missed the net, and we had a number of head balls that went right at their goalie," Marlow said. "For us, this game was all about getting some guys who haven't been out there a lot some good playing time, and getting out of there healthy. The big show is on Thursday. That's when we play Peru."
Saranac Lake hosts Peru Thursday at Schroeter's Field starting at 4:30 p.m. Northwood will next be at home Friday against Selwyn House, with the opening kickoff slated for 2:30 p.m.