Outside the Box: A Look at Webb Sports

Webb Varsity Soccer: Boys stomp the pedal in race to the post-season; Kevin Kress scores hat trick at Adirondack

So far, the results from this season’s high school sports programs have had many scratching their heads.

What with the injuries, one-in-a-million soccer goals by opponents, and (admittedly) uneven play, it’s been no day at the amusement park.

Well, maybe somewhat… just a bit more of a white-knuckle roller-coaster ride as opposed to a relaxing journey down the lazy river than many would like.

Well, at least one group had a banner week and we’ll kick things off with the good news.

Boys JV and Varsity Soccer

Needing to step it up in an effort to keep post-season hopes and possibly even a league title alive, the varsity squad did exactly that.

The first of two contests took place on Tuesday, September 20 at Adirondack and was never close.

In fact, Kevin Kress’ scoring outburst alone would have been more than enough to defeat the opponents.

Kress managed two goals in the first half to stake his team to a lead that would never be challenged.

He then added a third score to open the second period for good measure, not to mention an assist later on.

The Eskimos cruised to a 5-1 victory, with the final two goals coming off the foot of Sam Waterbury.

When called upon, goalkeeper Trevor Rice was up to the challenge.

The defensive play was outstanding in general, though, making Rice’s day far more tolerable.

Several players also made their presence felt as Connor Rockhill, Austin Down, and Trevor Godemann each had an assist.

Next on the docket on Thursday, September 22 was a home game against Sauquoit on a very wet and rainy day.

This time around it was Rockhill who drew first blood for Old Forge, with Kevin Kress adding an insurance goal to set up a nice 2-0 halftime lead.

Those two players combined for another pair of goals in the second stanza, with Rockhill’s coming unassisted and Kress’ off a penalty kick.

Rice was a bit busier than he’d been in the previous contest as he recorded five saves, but the Eskimos were once again the more dominant aggressor as they outshot Sauquoit 23-14.

It’ll be very interesting to see how things play out over the remainder of the schedule.

Old Forge can still bring home the league championship, but must win out as well as having someone tie or win a game outright against Westmoreland.

It might seem improbable, but stranger things have happened.

The good news is that the boys seem to be playing their best ball right now and control their own destiny as far as their own record goes.

Westmoreland’s fate, unfortunately, is out of our hands.

As for the JV, they opened up last week’s schedule on Monday, September 19 at home against Cooperstown.

Despite completely outplaying the visitors the whole way, the scoreboard never moved until Cy Barkauskas drove up from his sweeper position with under seventeen minutes remaining in regulation and drilled a long shot into the back of the net.

Dane Daiker followed up with a score of his own soon thereafter which proved crucial as Cooperstown took advantage of a defensive lapse to draw to within 2-1 with about three minutes to play.

Old Forge managed to hang on for the victory, though, and undoubtedly had to feel very fortunate to have come away with on the right side of what could have been a major disappointment.

There were two games later in the week, the results of which are unknown at this time. We’ll certainly try to get caught up next week!

Girls JV and Varsity Soccer

Demonstrating our point that soccer can be a real anomaly, the JV girls traveled to Owen D. Young on Tuesday, September 20 and somehow had their three-game winning streak snapped.

This, despite a whopping 21-4 edge in shots and having pretty much outplayed their foes at every turn.

ODY managed a goal early on in the second half, however, which was enough for the win.

It’s too bad that they weren’t able to pounce on that opportunity, because next up on Saturday, September 24 was a home contest against Holland Patent, who surely fields one of the best squads around.

It was a bit of a moral victory, though, as an outmanned Eskimo team kept it close the whole way.

HP only managed one goal right up to the very end when they were awarded a penalty kick with three seconds left in the game.

The 2-0 loss drops the junior varsity record to 3-3, but they’ve shown a lot of spunk and will continue to work hard and improve, no doubt.

Moving on to the varsity results, things went from bad to worse, starting with a road trip to Oriskany on Monday, September 19.

Old Forge’s only goal came late and was registered by Andrea Frey. It was nowhere near enough to stay with Oriskany, resulting in a 4-1 loss.

Making things more difficult was the fact that they wouldn’t have a chance to get the bad taste out of their mouths for four days.

And when that chance came on Friday, September 23 as they hosted Poland, a bitter pill became an even more painful IV.

Poland was well aware that the Eskimos were on the mat, and they put their foot on the throats of their long-time rivals and kept it there, rolling to a 7-1 decimation.

The final score was a bit deceiving, however. Shots on goal were dead even at sixteen apiece as were corner kicks, with each team having six.

It just seems that the ball isn’t bouncing our way, which is a phenomenon that every athlete has experienced. All these girls can do is keep their chins up and stay mentally tough.

Boys & Girls Varsity Cross Country

As previously detailed, the nationally renowned E. J. Herrmann Invitational was held at Proctor Park in Utica on Saturday September 24.

For many years, this has been the one event that every serious runner looks forward to.

It provides a rare opportunity to see how you measure up against some of the best cross country athletes from across the state.

I haven’t had a chance to speak with Coach Ron Smith and, therefore, cannot explain the details of what happened, but Old Forge showed up at the meet with a scant two entries.

Dane Daiker and a somewhat hobbled Maddie Phaneuf were the only Eskimos entered, which has to be an all-time low as far as local representation goes.

Both runners completed the 3.1 mile course with Phaneuf finishing in the top twenty-five despite a muscle strain.

I’ve been keeping track of the Herrmann for nearly a decade now, and cannot recall a time when Old Forge didn’t have enough participants available to field at least one complete team, be it boys or girls.

Obviously, there would have had to have been numerous conflicts in order for this to occur.

Hopefully, such circumstances can be avoided in the future, as every runner should get to experience the feeling one gets when competing at such a high level.

Until next week…

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