The Lewiston-Porter Boys soccer team didn’t lose a single home game all last year. They weren’t going to start Saturday night.
The Lancers pulled out another home victory, scoring in the early moments of the second overtime to beat the visiting Grand Island Vikings 1-0 in NFL Frontier division action.
Senior David Reilly was the hero for the Lancers. In the 92’, Reilly’s shot was deflected wide by a Viking defender giving Lew-Port a corner kick. The Lancers took advantage as Joey Zachary got the ball to Reilly who was eight yards out and put it in for the game-winning goal.
Reilly, who was mobbed by teammates after the goal, said afterward that it is one of the best moments in his career.
“It was a great ball from Zachary that found me in the box. I just tried to get off a solid shot and it ended up finding the back of the net,” Reilly said. “It was probably one of the best feelings I’ve ever experienced.”
According to Lewiston-Porter head coach Rick Sweeney, Reilly is someone who leaves it all out on the field.
“For three years he has been one of our most versatile players. He’s comes out of the game with mud and grass stains,” Sweeney said of Reilly. “He’s the heart and soul of team.”
The two sides eased into the game, knocking the ball around for the game’s first 10 minutes.
Grand Island then took control of the game keeping play in the Lancer end. In the 12’, GI senior Jackson Besl had an opportunity to score when the ball fell to his feet just a few yards in front of the net. His shot went wide, but the Viking momentum sustained.
Lew-Port ended the momentum after stopping the Vikings on a corner kick in the 30’.
Both teams picked up the pace in the second half.
The Lancers were handed two tremendous opportunities to score in the half.
Joey Zachary had a one-on-one breakaway to the net but GI goalie Steven Pufpaff swiped the ball away for the save in the 7’. Two minutes later, Lew-Port had a similar opportunity off a Viking miscue. This time it was Joe Stolfo who knocked it away.
Later in the half Grand Island got their chance to score.
Jack Belia found himself with some open area in front of the net, but the Vikings couldn’t capitalize as the incoming pass missed his foot by a few inches in the 57’.
Pufpaff made two more big saves late in the second half to keep his team in the game.
According to Grand Island head coach Frank Butcher, Pufpaff has been keeping the Vikings in games all season.
“He gives our guys confidence. Even though we haven’t gotten the results we’ve wanted we know that we count on him to keep us in the game,” Butcher said. “We know that once we are healthy he can help us win games.”
With three minutes left in regulation, Rhett Robinson had a great chance to win it for Grand Island, but his shot from 30 yards out went just over the crossbar.
In the first overtime, the Lancers began to show they wanted it more.
GI’s Luke Ailinger was all alone in the goalie’s box with the ball, but Lew-Port defender Zach Siegel dived in front to block the shot.
The Lancers had a chance to score in the 89’ but Jake Westadt’s shot went just wide, taking the game to a second overtime.
It was the first league loss in a long time for the Vikings. Grand Island (1-2-3, 1-1-1 NFL), who lost many pieces from last year’s state final team, is also dealing with some injuries.
Butcher sees that his young team headed in the right direction, but there is still a lot of work that needs to be done.
“We’re getting better and working harder, but we don’t finish our chances on the balls that fall in the box,” Butcher said. “We had chances to win the game and then Lew-Port put the game away.”
The Lancers are now 3-2 (2-1 NFL) through the first few weeks of the season. Sweeney is happy with where his team stands but they need to learn how to keep the intensity up no matter who they’re facing.
“We have the potential to beat some very good teams, but we also have the tendency to play down to lesser opponents. That’s our Achilles’ heel,” Sweeney said. “It’s a very competitive division. It’s going to be a dogfight.”
Next: Both teams will be back in action on Tuesday night at 7. The Lancers will host Kenmore West and Grand Island welcomes Niagara Wheatfield.