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S-GI boys soccer team rallies for tie

SPRINGVILLE—The Springville-Griffith varsity boys soccer team recorded a come-from-behind double-overtime tie against Maryvale Sept. 5 at Springville Middle School, that moved the Griffins to 0-1-1 on the season after a home season-opening loss to East Aurora Sept. 1.

Alec Harrigan’s second-half tally was the Griffins’ first goal of the season and capped the dominance Springville displayed territorially against the Flyers – especially in the second half.

The goal came with about 16 minutes left after Robert Clark’s initial shot was blocked, but the junior corralled the rebound and got past four Flyer defenders before getting the ball to Harrigan to earn an assist on the play.

“We started off a little slow in the first half,” head coach Thomas Szczerbacki said.

Matt Sion (10) gets by a Maryvale defender

“I don’t know if we’re just a little hesitant at times, but we had a much better second half. I liked the way we’re communicating better [in the second], and our movement off the ball,” Szczerbacki said. “It just seemed like we’re quicker with our decision-making and just our whole play was better in the second half.”

The Flyers got the only goal of the first half about 30 minutes into the contest off a free kick. Springville goalkeeper Adam Pruitt shut the door the rest of the way by blanking the opposition the next 80 minutes that included two 10-minute overtime periods.

With the majority of play in the Maryvale defensive end, Pruitt had to remain focused especially late into the second overtime when the Flyers twice had one-on-one chances in the crease with the junior goalkeeper, who received some stalwart defensive help.

First, Mike Sobota helped derail a prime Flyer scoring threat and then about 90 seconds later Woodson Hooker did the same. Both players came to the aid of their goalkeeper by upsetting the Maryvale attackers from behind.

Mike Krezmien had the best chance to win the game in regulation after his penalty kick went just wide to the left with about 90 seconds left in regulation. Krezmien had originally found himself with nothing but net after he emerged from the ground with sole possession of the ball after contact with the Flyer keeper, but was tackled from the side by a Maryvale defender before gaining enough control to score the go-ahead goal.

Szczerbacki is very optimistic about this season after just a couple of games. With East Aurora potentially being the top team, the Griffs essentially played the Blue Devils even most of the game despite a 3-0 loss.

Goalkeeper Adam Pruitt gets a key save as Mike Sobota (14) tries to keep a Maryvale attacker at bay

“We played really well in our first game against East Aurora. We battled hard and they scored about 20 minutes in and then put two goals in the last few minutes of the game,” he said. “ I truly believe we have a good team here. They work hard and when they compete hard, they give themselves a chance to win.”

Springville will play its third-consecutive home match Sept. 8 against Cheektowaga starting at 4:30 p.m. at the Middle School.

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