LP boys soccer wins two in a row

News photo — Lou Reiuter Grady Draper of the Blue Bombers battles in close quarters for possession of the ball with the Patriots’ Zander McCabe during Monday’s match in Lake Placid.

LAKE PLACID — After starting off the season with three losses and a tie, the Lake Placid boys soccer team claimed a pair of victories during the past week.

The Blue Bombers notched their first victory of the season on Saturday, Oct. 24, beating Willsboro on a penalty kick, and then rallied to take down AuSable Valley on Monday.

Lake Placid 1, Willsboro 0 Lake Placid boys soccer coach Stuart Hemsley said, “It wasn’t pretty” while describing the match that saw the Blue Bombers pick up their first victory of the season, beating Willsboro 1-0 on a second-half penalty kick.

In a match played in driving 30 mph winds, Joose Kahkonen lifted Lake Placid to victory when he buried a penalty kick midway through the second half for the lone goal of the match. Kahkonen’s succesful shot followed a Blue Bombers’ corner kick that hit a Warriors’ player in the arm to draw the foul.

“We snatched a 1-0 PK win,” Hemsley said. “The boys were happy but it wasn’t pretty.”

Hemsley credited his goalkeeper Jack Armstrong with another strong performance in helping the Blue Bombers improve to 1-3-1.

Willsboro finished with an 18-6 advantage in shots. Armstrong earned the win in nets with 13 saves.

With the win, the Blue Bombers salvaged a season split with the Warriors, who topped Lake Placid 2-1 in overtime in the season-opening match.

Lake Placid 4,

AuSable Valley 1

The Lake Placid boys soccer team reversed its fortunes in a big way on Monday, rallying from a one-goal halftime deficit to claim a 4-1 victory over AuSable Valley.

The win was the second straight for the Blue Bombers, who improved to 2-3-1 and play two more matches this week.

Cooper Grady was expected to be a major offensive threat for Lake Placid this season, and the senior finally broke out with a standout performance by burying three goals in the second half. Chris Byrne netted Lake Placid’s other goal, Joose Kahkonen added a pair of assists and Alex Wright and Drew Ferebee chipped in with single assists in the win.

AuSable Valley got on the board early on a wet day when Zander McCabe sent a ground ball through the hands of Blue Bombers keeper Jack Armstrong less than six minutes into the match, and the Patriots held that 1-0 edge until Lake Placid started to pour it on early in the second half.

Grady notched two quick goals, evening the score at 1-1 with his first tally less than three minutes into the second half, and he put Lake Placid on top to stay less than three minutes later.

Byrne increased Lake Placid’s lead to 3-1 with 16:43 remaining when he scored on a crossing pass from Wright, and Grady completed his hat trick and rounded out the scoring with just under 11 minutes left on the game clock.

Both teams created scoring opportunities early in the match and through out the opening half, but the Patriots were the lone squad to convert.

“I told the kids at half time that we were a better team,” Hemsley said. “We were giving their three solid players too much room in the midfield. I knew if we could win the battle at midfield, we’ll win the game.

“I knew if we got one on them, more goals would come and that’s exactly what happened,” Hemsley added. “At halftime, we hadn’t established our authority yet. I’m happy for the kids. Two in a row — we’re on a little roll.”

Lake Placid finished with an 18-10 advantage in shots. Armstrong, a junior, finished with nine saves, and Scott LaFountain was credited with 12 stops in goal for AuSable Valley.

Lake Placid’s next match was scheduled for Wednesday under the lights in Beekmantown.

The Blue Bombers are also slated to host rival Saranac Lake on Saturday at the North Elba Show Grounds starting at 11 a.m. The two teams finished in a 2-2 deadlock in their first meeting on Oct. 14 in Saranac Lake.