PLATTSBURGH — The Seton Catholic boys’ soccer team outscored Northern Adirondack by an 8-1 margin in two regular-season games this fall.
That evidently didn’t faze Pat Kelleher’s Bobcats (6-8-1) in the Section VII Class C semifinals Thursday.
Utilizing two goals from Ryan Manion, Northern Adirondack knocked off the Knights 3-1 to advance to the sectional championship against Lake Placid Wednesday.
“They’ve got some great players, and we were able to contain them a little bit better (Thursday) than normal,” Kelleher said. “That was the difference for us. We moved some personnel and said, ‘Let’s see what this does for us.’ What we did worked very well for us. It really came to fruition, if you will.”
Adam Tedford helped Seton Catholic (8-5-3) get on the board first, sending home a one-time feed from Kaden Baugh at 9:37.
Its lead, however, was short lived.
After slipping past the defense, Manion responded by burying a shot 5:19 later.
Brady Smart then registered his first varsity goal by collecting a loose ball off the post and kicking it into the back of the net. The tally gave the Bobcats a 2-1 lead with 4:57 left before halftime.
“We’ve had trouble scoring (of late),” Kelleher said. “One-goal games aren’t going to get it done. We stepped up our offense. I believe (the players) started doing the things they’ve been coached to do. We really put it into practice this time, not once in awhile. We saw a lot of things we stressed this week in practice.”
After 21:48 had elapsed in the second half, Manion recorded his second goal of the match.
“They definitely played good defense,” Northern Adirondack senior Dylan LaBarge said. “I just think we played a little harder and got to more balls. We have sophomores that stepped up and really helped out, too.”
Ethan King made 10 saves between the pipes in the win. Keagen Briggs totaled five stops for the Knights.
“They took advantage of some of our defensive mistakes, and they cashed in on (them),” Seton Catholic coach Mike Eppler. “I’m not taking anything away from NAC when I say this, but some things are just meant to be. I sort of got that feeling about midway through the second half.
“But our kids played a great game. They left it all out on the field. I actually thought Kaden Baugh and Adam Tedford performed excellent. They’ve done it all season. They had a very good game in this game. It’s really tough for the seniors, but once again, congratulations to Pat and NAC.”
With the victory, the Bobcats will face Lake Placid in five days at the Plattsburgh High School Athletic Complex. The Blue Bombers are ranked No. 18 in the latest New York State Sportswriters Association Class C poll.
“(Lake Placid coach) Stuart Helmsley and I actually worked together this summer,” Kelleher said. “It’s good fun in that respect. We tied them after double overtime in the first go-around before losing a one-goal game a little over a week ago. It should make for a fantastic championship.”
Northern Adirondack 3, Seton Catholic 1
Northern Adirondack 2 1 — 3
Seton Catholic 1 0 — 1
First half- 1, SC, Tedford (Baugh), 9:37. 2, NAC, Manion, 15:18. 3, NAC, Smart (B. LaBarge), 35:03.
Second half- 4, NAC, Manion (Kerr), 21:48.
Shots: Seton Catholic 14. Northern Adirondack 12.
Saves: King, NAC, 10. Briggs, SC, 5.