Lumberjacks soccer falls in Class C semifinals

TUPPER LAKE – The third-seeded St. Lawrence girls soccer team upset second-seeded Tupper Lake 1-0 in the Section X, Class C semifinals Tuesday.

After playing a scoreless first half, the Larries got on the board less than six minutes into the second half when freshman Breanna Evans scored the only goal of the game. Evans’ goal came on an assist by Lindsey Thayer, who had centered the ball on a high-arcing pass. Evans knocked the ball home as it was bouncing in front of the net.

It was the fourth win of the season for the Larries, who improved to 4-10-1. Tupper Lake finished with a 6-8-1 record.

St. Lawrence will now play Brushton-Moira at SUNY Canton on Saturday in the Section X, Class C championship game. The top-seeded Brushton team beat fourth-seeded Norwood-Norfolk 4-0 to advance.

“They worked so hard. They are such a great bunch of girls,” Larries coach Chris Compu-Martin said. “They’ve been through so much. It’s nice when hard work finally pays off and they get a chance to celebrate, reap some of the rewards.”

This was the third matchup of the season between the two teams. Tupper Lake won the first two meetings by scores of 2-1 each time. In this game, though, the Lumberjacks offense struggled.

Tupper Lake had several opportunities to score in the game but was unable to capitalize. In particular, forward Lizzie Zurek had several strong shots on the net and a number of centering passes.

“I thought for 20, 25, 30 minutes, it looked like we were going to score at some point in that and just didn’t get our chances,” Tupper Lake coach Russ Bartlett said of the first half. “I think as those chances didn’t come, we got a little more tense … and the net starts to look real small.”

One of the big differences in this game was the play of Thayer, who is the Larries’ best player on offense and defense and even plays backup goalie.

For this game, St. Lawrence moved Thayer from center midfielder to sweeper to put her more on the defensive side of the ball. The move paid off as Tupper Lake struggled to get past the fast and powerful player.

“She’s the league co-MVP. She’s the defensive player of the year,” Bartlett said. “She’s clearly really good. We had to take our chances when we got them and we just didn’t. We had probably three or four really legit chances and couldn’t convert even one of them.”

Bartlett did compliment the efforts of some of the veteran players.

“There were some great efforts,” he said. “Lizzie’s effort, can’t fault that. Jordan Staves’ effort was fantastic. Lauren Bach’s effort was fantastic. Allison Richards on the other side.”

Lumberjack goalie Brook Dewyea also had a strong game, recording 13 saves. St. Lawrence goalie Haleigh Agans had 12 saves.

“We had long runs where we played real well,” Bartlett said. “We moved the ball, we had good movement off the ball, but as the game went on, we kind of lost sight of that.”