DRYDEN – The Dryden Lions boys and girls soccer teams won their games Thursday in different ways against different opponents in different weather conditions.
Dryden 2, Groton 1
Fresh off their first loss of the season Wednesday to Lansing in the rain, the Lions battled the Indians in the snow in what ended up being a low-scoring, physical contest.
As the snow’s intensity increased throughout the game, Sophia Lynch’s tally in the 51st minute, just before the snow became almost blinding, ultimately gave the Lions the victory to improve to 4-1.
Lynch’s goal completed a crazy sequence that started with a low cross into heavy traffic in the box before a first shot ricocheted off the cross bar and right into Lynch’s lap.
Just four minutes prior, Groton’s Sophia Bell had tied the game at 1-1 after receiving a throw-in 10 yards behind midfield and going on an excellent run past two Dryden defenders for the score.
“It was intense, but the girls were ready for it,” Lions coach Neal McDowell said. “Tonight it was just something else. The girls did a really good job fighting and being able to keep possession of the ball…all our players got in the game and got to enjoy playing in the snow.”
The Lions led 1-0 at halftime thanks to Lauren Gulini’s unassisted goal in the 23rd minute on a 2-on-0 rush.
“We’ve practiced in the snow once this year, but luckily we have the turf field and we were able to use it, and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be,” McDowell said.
The Indians had one last chance to salvage the tie in the final two minutes, but Hallie Allport made a diving stop and was able to clear to finish off the win.
“They got some possession in the middle and went outside,” McDowell said. “They got the shot off, but Hallie was in the right position, made the save and was able to clear the ball and get it out of the box.”
The Lions’ next game is at 10 a.m. Saturday at Elmira. The Indians are off until April 9 when they visit Union Springs.
Dryden 8, Marathon 1
Based on the first 90 seconds of the match, it seemed as though the Lions and Olympians would be in for a barnburner.
But only the Lions’ offense kept rolling while the Olympians’ offense shut down completely as the Lions improved to 6-0 with the victory under clearer skies.
Casey Phillips netted four goals that brought him up to 19 goals on the season and 95 for his high school career.
Four other players scored for the Lions — Corey Matesanz, Zack Wilson, Nolan Weik and Cole Goggan, with Goggan’s goal being his first varsity score.
Trenton O’Neill opened the scoring less than a minute into the game off an assist from Sam Castellot, then Phillips pulled the Lions even by the time the game was two minutes old.
Both offenses went quiet for the next 17 minutes, but only the Lions emerged from that slumber.
Phillips scored the eventual game winner in the 19th minute with a shot into the top shelf from inside the 6-yard box. He would continue to hunt for his hat trick until the 68th minute when he finally put one home after a few attempts off or over the crossbar.
“We posed better and attacked better as a team,” Lions coach Laszlo Engel said. “In the second half we really moved the ball well playing many combinations moving the ball quickly. We paid more attention to the details and it paid off. The result was good defending and goal scoring.”
Weik’s tally was his 10th of the season. Matseanz’s goal came on a counterattack after the Lions defense stopped what would have been a 5-on-3 rush for the Olympians.
The Lions outshot the Olympians 23-4, but corner kicks were much more even with the Lions getting three and the Olympians getting two.
Trent Ensign made three saves for the Olympians. Steven Morrow only needed to make one for the Lions.
The Lions host Elmira in their next game at 3 p.m. Saturday.
The Olympians host Groton for their second meeting of the season at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Homer 55, Chittenango 6
The Trojans netted 450 yards on 57 plays and led from beginning to end in their season-opening win Wednesday.
On the flip side, the Trojans held the Bears to only five net yards on 41 plays.
Andrew VanPatten rushed for 208 yards on 19 carries and scored three touchdowns on runs of 26, 60 and two yards. He moved from ninth to seventh on the all-time Trojans rushing list.
Brandon Shattuck was 7-for-8 in extra point attempts.
Homer’s next game is at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Syracuse Institute of Technology and will be the 600th in program history. Their all-time record is 349-239-11.