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LP girls get the victory, Willsboro’s Ford gets her 100th

Willsboro’s Jenna Ford controls the ball against Lake Placid. (News photo — Lou Reuter)

LAKE PLACID — In this year of the coronavirus pandemic, high school student-athletes who have been fortunate enough to compete in their sports this fall have the chance to savor every moment they can during their shortened seasons.

A match between the Lake Placid and Willsboro girls teams on Thursday, Oct. 29 turned out to special outing for both sides.

The Blue Bombers’ nice takeaway from the contest played at home on a raw, rainy afternoon appeared on the scoreboard, as they rolled to a 6-2 victory.

And for Willsboro, the match was historic as Warriors’ junior Jenna Ford surpassed the 100-goal plateau, scoring the 100th and 101st tallies of her high school career.

The Blue Bombers scored four times in the opening half and tacked on two tallies more early in the second to build up a 6-0 lead before Ford buried two shots late to become the eighth player in Section VII to score 100 or more career goals in girls soccer.

Lake Placid goalkeeper Rylee Preston boots the ball during action against Willsboro on Thursday, Oct. 29. (News photos — Lou Reuter)

Lake Placid coach Brendan Gotham said his team struggled early on, but once the Blue Bombers got going, they poured it on. Olivia Ferebee tallied twice for the winners, and Lily Fisher, Rylee Preston, Natalie Tavares and Anisa Cecunjanin added a goal each.

Ferebee, a freshman, put Lake Placid on the board 14:16 into the match, and then Preston made some history of her own when she scored 1:34 later to put the Blue Bombers on top 2-0.

Preston is a senior who was named the Division II defensive player of the year as a sweeper a season ago. During her high school career, Preston had never netted a goal until Thursday.

Her first ever came on a penalty kick play, and Preston, who has recently taken over in nets for the Blue Bombers, headed to the other end of the field to take the shot. She fired the ball, Willsboro keeper Abby Bruno made the save, the ball went right back to Preston, and she buried the rebound.

The Blue Bombers went on to score two more times in the half, with Fisher tallying at the 27:12 mark of the half, and Cecunjanin — an eighth-grader — netting her first varsity goal with 3:31 left in the half to give Lake Placid its 4-0 advantage at intermission.

Ferebee scored her second of the game 4:55 into the second half, and Tavares made it 6-0 in favor of Lake Placid a little more than 10 minutes later.

Ford came close to scoring on two occasions earlier in the match before finally burying her 100th. She had a point-blank shot stopped by Preston with 1:10 left in the first half, and then she had an opportunity to get one with her team trailing 6-0. That play also came on a penalty kick, and it was a shot that Ford rocketed off a goal post. The ball bounced back to the junior, and she buried the rebound, but since the ball hadn’t been touched, it was waved off.

But the next time Ford collected a rebound, she buried the shot that counted. The game was stopped, she was awarded the game ball, and for good measure, she found the back of the net one more time in the closing seconds to make it a 6-2 final.

“It was a really special night,” Gotham said. “Ford is a great player, and I think everybody was happy to see her get her 100th. But it was also special to see Rylee Preston score the first goal of her career.

“The first 15 minutes we didn’t look good,” Gotham continued. “We came out of the gate a little slow but then starting passing the ball and moving it beautifully. It was nice to see Olivia getting it going on offense again, Natalie scored her first goal of the season, and Lily has been working her tail off, and it was good to see her get another one. It was a great night all the way around.”

Dariana Patterson had two assists for Lake Placid, and Grace Erickson and Kiera Levitt chipped an assist apiece in the win.

Lake Placid finished with a 23-6 edge in shots. Preston played the opening half in goal for Lake Placid and made three saves. She was replaced by Arnita Cecunjanin, who also recorded three stops in the second half.

Bruno made 17 saves in goal for Willsboro.