BY COREY GESFORD
Action in the Boys Lackawanna League got underway last Tuesday for most of the local teams with the new season giving a glimpse of the future as several teams found a way to move on after graduating key players from last year’s squads.
Mountain View got off to a slow start finding themselves down early before going on an 9-2 run on their way to 9-3 win over Riverside in the Lackawanna League boys soccer opening night.
Riverside opened the scoring eight minutes into the game. Four minutes later, Mountain freshman Nate Ofalt put the Eagles on the board with the first of his five goals off a Jarret Corker assist. The pair hooked up again at the 19-minute to give the Eagles their first lead, but the Vikings knotted the score a minute later with the first of two more goals in the half.
Ofalt broke free and scored unassisted at the 28-minute mark to give the Eagles the lead for good. Mike DeWolfe took a Zach Polovitch pass and placed in the back of the net three minutes later, and Ofalt and Hunter Beach-Jones each scored unassisted goals.
Riverside trailed the Eagles 6-3 at halftime.
In the second half, Mountain View continued to dominate the ball, Ofalt scored in his final goal six minutes in off a Tyler Striefsky pass. DeWolfe scored twice to close out the scoring for Mountain View, getting through the defense to score at the 54-minute mark, and then scoring off of Corker’s third assist in the game.
The Eagles finished with a 17-8 shot advantage and Goalkeeper Connor Richmond had five saves.
Mountain View traveled to Elmhurst to face a physically strong Gregory the Great team in a game postponed from Thursday. The game extended into double overtime before the Eagles fell when Elmhurst scored off a corner kick 58 seconds into the second overtime to gain the 2-1 victory.
“It was a quick restart and they sent it to the backpost and caught our guys off-guard,” said Eagles Coach Joe Scanlon
Both teams scored in the first half as Mountain View’s Ofalt picked up where he left off from Tuesday finding the back of the net at the 18:17 mark. Gregory the Great countered when Nate Bateman took a feed from John Bateman and put home the tying goal at 31:18 mark.
Scanlon felt that, despite the loss, the physicality of the game made his young Eagles grow mentally and will benefit down the road.
“I think after our guys took a few hard hits early they regrouped and started to meet the physicality,” added Scanlon.
Despite outshooting Mountain View 21-5 the Highlanders could not break into the scoring column again for sixty minutes until Ziglinski’s heroics. Eagle Goalkeeper Richmond registered 9 saves to help stymie the Highlanders.
Montrose opened their 2018 Lackawanna League campaign with a trip to Carbondale and shut out the Chargers, 8-0, as Tracy Kerr earned a hat trick and Brennan Gilhool added two goals.
Gilhool opened the scoring with a goal at the 17-minute mark and Kerr scored three minutes later off a pass from Steven Vetri. Theodore Lubash and Mason Dieck added unassisted goals at the 26 and 28-minute marks to give Montrose a 4-0 halftime lead.
The Meteors closed out their scoring in the first 10 minutes of the second half. Vetri scored three minutes in after getting past a Carbondale defender and Gilhool added his second goal two minutes later.
Kerr completed his hat trick with goals at the 48 and 50-minute marks.
Montrose’s goals came on 14 shots and goalkeeper Ethan Hitchcock earned five saves while preserving the shut out.
Friday featured a border showdown when Montrose hosted Blue Ridge in the league opener for the Raiders who had an earlier game with Elk Lake moved to the end of the month.
Gilhool led the way for the Meteors, in the first half he broke through the Raider defense and scored 14 minutes into the game.
Blue Ridge tied the game when a miscalculation on a throw-in led to an Own Goal when Hitchcock pushed the ball into his own net. Both teams would go back and forth for 46 minutes until Gilhool took a pass from Vetri and placed the past the Blue Ridge keeper to earn the 2-1 victory.
“Their team (Blue Ridge) is fast and physical which always makes them a difficult opponent,” said Montrose coach Dan Cherney. “We communicated positively and played together, which is very important considering we’re relatively young and inexperienced.”
Cherney also liked how Hitchcock was able to refocus after the miscue and stay positive and make a significant impact in the second half.
“Ethan rebounded well, kept his head up and made a couple of key saves for us down the stretch,” added Cherney.
Montrose only out-shot Blue Ridge by one, 7-6, while the Raiders held a 3-2 advantage in corner kicks. Montrose Keeper Hitchock registered seven saves and Blue Ridge’s Eric Hall had five.
Elk Lake had their other scheduled game with Forest City postponed to Monday due to rain.