PLATTSBURGH — The AuSable Valley Patriots accomplished two things Friday night. First, they scored more goals in one game than they have all year. And second, they won their first game in two years.
The game went into overtime, but the Patriots’ (1-6, 1-4) Jon Goodnough ended it quickly, scoring two-and-a-half minutes into the extra frame off a short pass from Elias Smith to put AuSable up 2-1 over Plattsburgh in Northern Soccer League action.
“It’s been so long since we have been able to beat a quality team like Plattsburgh,” AuSable Valley coach Robert Hamilton said. “This win propels us.”
The Hornets (2-5, 2-3) possessed the ball for the majority of the first half, sending six shots toward AuSable Valley keeper Joshua Taylor. At 14:23 into the half, Plattsburgh forward/midfielder Nick Dodd took a short pass from Brooks Kelley and sent a low roller underneath Taylor’s outstretched arms and to put Plattsburgh up 1-0.
“He (Taylor) struggled in the first half and realized he made a mistake,” coach Hamilton said. “He felt bad about it, and fortunately his teammates picked him up and scored one for him and tied it up.”
That equalizing goal came six minutes later when AuSable Valley defender Nate Casey sent a soft, short floater toward midfielder Jacob Montefusco. With several white jerseys around him, Montefusco soared above them all to head in the tying goal.
At the end of the first half, Plattsburgh had put six shots on net to AuSable Valley’s three. Plattsburgh also had several more opportunities to score, taking four corner kicks and three direct kicks in AuSable Valley territory.
The possession tables would turn in the second half. The Patriots controlled the ball with their speed and passing for the bulk of the half.
“We came out very flat,” Plattsburgh coach Chris LaRose said. “We got caught up in AuSable’s kick and speed game, and that’s not our strength.”
And that they did. The Patriots outshot the Hornets 4-2 in the second half and ran the ball up the sidelines, producing several scoring opportunities.
“We got the ball to the outside and then the corners to send some dangerous balls in the penalty area.” Hamilton said.
Plattsburgh’s defense was held together by Brooks Kelley, Mohamed Eltahir, and Brady Channell, who were very effective in shutting down the scoring chances AuSable Valley put together.
In dramatic fashion, the winning goal almost came just past the midway point of the second half when AuSable Valley defender Austin Facteau took a shot from 40 yards out while Plattsburgh goalie, Robert Knowles, was out of position. The ball sailed toward the net and glanced off his gloves, hitting the crossbar and falling short of a winner.
“They dictated the tempo,” LaRose said. “Kudos to Bob (Hamilton). He did a great job, and AuSable deserved the win. They outhustled us and outworked us to get the win.”
Plattsburgh 1, AuSable Valley 2 (OT)
AuSable Valley 1 0 1 — 2
Plattsburgh 1 0 0 — 1
First half- 1, PHS, Dodd (Kelley), 14:24. 2, AV, Montefusco (Casey), 20:34.
First overtime- 3, AV, Goodnough (Smith), 2:30.
Shots: AuSable Valley 8, Plattsburgh 8.
Saves: Taylor, AV, 5. Knowles, PHS, 5.