Panthers, Bengals battle to a draw


HOOSICK, N.Y. — It wasn't a win, but the Hoosick Falls boys soccer team can feel good themselves after battling to a scoreless tie with Tamarac on Tuesday afternoon.

After losing by two against Tamarac earlier this season, the Panthers showed more grit and toughness in their second match against the Bengals.

"I thought the kids played hard all game and showed that they're continuing to get better as a team," said Hoosick Falls coach Tim Ossont. "It's not a win, but our team can definitely take a lot of positives from this game and grow from it."

In the first half, neither team was able to get anything going offensively as both offensives committed turnovers once they move passed midfield.

The Panthers created a couple chances for themselves late in the first half, but both Alex and Michael Haynes had shots that went just wide of the net, keeping it a scoreless game at the half.

Both teams picked it up in the second half, but nothing on the scoreboard changed because of the play of both goalkeepers, starting with a couple of big saves from Evan McCart midway through the second half.

The sophomore goalie stood on his head all game long, jumping up to make a one-handed stop and then followed that up with corralling a bullet shot right at him to keep the game tied for Hoosick Falls.

"It got pretty crazy there when Tamarac was able to get some shots, but I just kept calm and did the best I could to keep my team in the game," McCart said. "I thought the defense did a good job helping me out all game and that allowed me to make those saves."

With McCart's stellar play in goal, the Panthers had an opportunity to break the ice and grab hold of the contest, but Hoosick Falls just couldn't get the ball in the net.

From sophomore John Reynolds loosing control of the ball on his breakaway opportunity that allowed Tamarac's goalkeeper Tyler Petersen to grab control of the ball, to Michael Haynes' shot just nudging the post, nothing was going in for the Panthers.

After another scoreless half of play by the two sides, the game went into overtime where the first team that scored in the two 10 minute periods would win the game

In the first overtime session, the Panthers got their golden opportunity to win the game when Reynolds fed a sweet pass to Michael Haynes in the Bengals box.

Haynes shot though went straight at Petersen who gobbled up the save to keep the game going.

"We had some missed opportunities their late that we had a chance to finish on," Ossont said. "You have to give Tamarac's goalie credit though. He made some great saves on us and played a great game against us."

Peterson finished with eight saves on the afternoon.

With no goals in the first overtime period, both teams now had only 10 minutes to try to scratch away a goal to win the game.

Early in the second overtime period, Tamarac this time had a chance to steal the game, but once again McCart came up big for the Panthers in goal.

McCart made a diving save on a shot towards the right corner of the net to give him a game-high nine saves on the afternoon, keeping the Panthers hopes alive in the contest.

"He just keeps getting better and better in each game he plays," Ossont said. "He's a great competitor and he has done a great job all season to keep us in games. His improvement throughout the season has been fun to watch."

McCart's heroics proved to determine the outcome of the game as exhaustion set in on both squads and the game ended in scoreless draw after 100 minutes of play.

"We are growing and getting better in every game, which is great to see," Ossont said. "The next step for us though is find a way to come out on the winning side next time."

The Panthers (1-7-2) will try to get their second win of the season when they travel to play Waterford on Thursday at 4:15 p.m.


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