January 26, 2022

Phillips’ 100th goal clinches title for Dryden

Sam Feeley/sports editor

Dryden soccer star Casey Phillips is flanked by his coaches as part of a celebration of his 100th varsity goal. Phillips’ goal was the difference Tuesday in a 1-0 victory over Lansing.

DRYDEN – The Lansing Bobcats were able to hold the Dryden Lions’ potent offense — and Casey Phillips and his hat-trick-per-game scoring average — in check for much of Tuesday’s game at Dryden High.

But Phillips would not be silenced completely, as his goal off a corner kick late in the second half gave him 100 career varsity goals and the Lions a 1-0 victory and their second consecutive IAC Large North Division championship.

After a sluggish first half offensively, the Lions came out firing in the second half. Midway through the half, the Lions began to pepper Lansing goalie Tomas Vance (five saves) with shots, some coming tantalizingly close to scoring but just missing over the crossbar or off the side of the net.

Finally, Phillips’ goal came in the 68th minute off a corner from Jackson Crocker, one of 11 Dryden corners on the afternoon, compared to just three for Lansing. The Lions also outshot the Bobcats 14-7.

“It was just a matter of time before we put one in,” Phillips said. “We had a lot of opportunities on set plays. not as many free kicks as we wanted…we knew we were slow in the first half, so we wanted to come out with intensity in the second half, and we did exactly that.”

Phillips was thrilled to be able to reach the 100-goal milestone with the shortened season as much as he was thrilled to play soccer at all.

“I’m extremely happy to have a season and enjoy this senior season,” Phillips said. “I’ve been playing with these boys for nine-plus years. A hundred goals is crazy, I’m just blessed.”

Games between Dryden and Lansing are often physical contests, and this game was no exception. While only one yellow card was issued in the 79th minute, the officials let the teams play on with few whistles for the most part.

Because of the physical nature of the game, Dryden coach Laszlo Engel said it was no surprise that the lone goal came on a set piece.

“Lansing is a very good defensive team, and we knew they would be different the second time we played them,” Engel said. “They came out and they pressed us the entire game. They subbed constantly, that’s how they were able to keep pressing. It worked for them, we couldn’t get through it very well. They had seven or eight guys in the box a lot.”

While there is no state tournament for fall sports, the Lions will get a little taste of postseason play with the IAC Championship Game. Their opponent is yet to be determined.

“That was one of our goals this year once we knew there was going to be an IAC Final,” Engel said.

“We (won the division) last year, and I loved it,” Phillips said. “Beating Lansing twice is what won us the division, and it was an awesome experience. They’ve always been our biggest rival…they always come to play.”

Steven Morrow made three saves for Dryden for the clean sheet.

Dryden’s next game is at 2 p.m. Friday when they host Owego Apalachin.

Marathon 8, Groton 0

The Olympians took out their frustration from their 8-1 loss to Dryden last week by blanking Groton on Senior Night for their second win of the season over the Indians.

Braeden Morrison had a hat trick and Bryce Hartman had two goals. Ethan Morrison, Sam Castellot and Bryce Howe had the other Marathon tallies.

Groton did not register a single shot, while Marathon launched 26, 14 of them on target. The Olympians improved to 4-2 and visit Union Springs Thursday.