CAMBRIDGE, N.Y. >> Just one goal was the difference in Wednesday's boys soccer matchup between rivals Cambridge and Hoosick Falls.
With just under five minutes left in the first half, junior Ian Montgomery drove into the Panthers zone and fired a shot into the bottom right corner of the net to give Cambridge the lead and ultimately the win.
"That goal was a game changer for both teams and thankfully we were the ones to get the score," said Cambridge coach Jason Sutliff. When both teams are battling neck and neck all game and you're the team that can get that goal to give you the edge, it really helps you be in control of the field a bit."
It was a hard fought game to say the least by both rivals.
Both squads battled tough against one another the entire match, with each team trying to find ways to gain control of the ball and create scoring opportunities for themselves.
After Cambridge finally broke the ice to take the lead towards the end of the first half, the aggressiveness of the Panthers really stepped up to find a way to score to tie the game.
The Panthers got an opportunity to tie the game in the final seconds of the first when senior Michael Haynes got to attempt a free kick off the Cambridge penalty.
Haynes laid a nice shot right at the top of the goal under the crossbar, but unfortunately for him and the Panthers, the ball didn't go in the net as Cambridge goalie Cody Oldham made a fantastic one handed save to knock the ball away and keep his team in the lead at the half.
"We played a little slow and on the back of our heels at times in the first half and that hurt us with their goal," said Hoosick Falls coach Tim Ossont. "After they scored, we definitely amped up our intensity and aggressiveness out there and got chances to score, but unfortunately we couldn't get one in the net."
Oldham was a thorn in the Panthers' side all game long, most importantly in the second half.
The junior goalie stood on his head for the Indians in second half to keep them in the lead, making save after save on four crucial scoring opportunities that the Panthers had.
"I just try to rack up as many saves as I can and give the team a chance to win," Oldham said. "My team was thankfully able to score in the first half and I knew once that happened that I had to do my part by not letting Hoosick Falls score and I'm happy I was able to do so."
In total, Oldham racked up seven saves in the win and is now 3-0 in his first three games in net at the varsity level for the Indians.
Hoosick Falls goalie Evan McCart didn't do too bad, either, in net for the Panthers.
The sophomore piled up a game-high nine saves to keep the Panthers in the contest.
It was not enough though as the Indians were able to hold off the Panthers to grab the victory, improving to a perfect 3-0 to start the season.
"This was a great hard fought victory for us and hopefully we'll build from it in our next game," Sutliff said. "We're off to a great start, but like I tell the kids we need to focus on trying to get better game by game. We still have things to work on, but I am very proud of how the team has played to start the season."
Hoosick Falls on the other hand dropped to 1-3 on the season with the loss.
"We need to get better at settling the ball and stop playing the ball in the air a lot," Ossont said. "There are some other things we need to tweak like any team does. I was though pleased with how aggressive we were in the second half and I think that will be something that will help us both offensively and defensively down the line."
Up next for the Panthers is a home game against Greenwich on Friday, while Cambridge will look to remain perfect on the season when they host Mechanicville on Friday as well.