NORTHVILLE — With the calendar officially falling on Wednesday, the Western Athletic Conference battle of boys’ soccer between Northville and the OESJ experienced the postseason.
Teams ranked in the top 10 in Class D in the latest survey from the New York State Sportswriters Association, with OESJ fourth and Northville eighth. They are the only two Division II teams currently ranked in Class D.
After trailing twice, Northville found a late goal to finish the first and second stops and drew a 2–2 draw with Wolves.
“We showed a lot of character today,” Northville coach Steve Clapper said. “Coming back with a goal late in each half instead of packing the game when we fell behind says a lot about this group.”
Both the teams have faced their respective oppositions so far this season.
OESJ beat their opponents 51-2 in their first six matches, while Northville beat their first five opponents 28-2.
“It was a good look at a good team at the start of the season,” said OESJ coach Mark Snell. “When you play with good teams, it exposes your weaknesses. It shows us what we need to work on and get better.”
Wolves rode a 16-game winning streak in Wednesday’s game. Their last defeat was in the 2019 Section II Class D Championship match against Fort N. Since then, OESJ went 10-0 during the Fall II season last spring and dropped 6-0 in Wednesday’s competition.
Northville had lost their last nine meetings with Wolves coming into the game, their last win coming on October 11, 2014.
OESJ won both meetings with the Falcons during the Falls II season, including a 5–1 win in their previous meeting at Northville that included several cards.
Wednesday’s rematch was less controversial but still very competitive.
“We knew it would be a physical, close game,” said coach Snell. “That’s pretty much what we anticipated.”
Northville quickly knocked out OESJ in the first half, beating OESJ by a margin of 8-6.
Despite controlling the game for over half, it was the Wolves who came on board first.
Mason Snell scored the first goal of the game with an assist from Andrew Snell and made it 1-0 in the opening half with 13:43.
It was the 21st goal of the season for Mason Snell.
At the end of the half, Northville was awarded a free kick just outside the box and Landon Ginter capitalized, sending a shot into the top left corner of the net from 20 yards to end the game 1–1 just five seconds before the half. Tied on. .
Both Snell were blanketed by Northville defenders in the form of Andrew Cordone, Caleb Clapper, Ethan Moore, Garrett Shepard, and JT Artikusi, and JT Artikusi kept a close eye on all of those games.
“We knew it would be a tough challenge, especially with their defence,” Mason Snell said. We knew it would be tough against them.
Northville, who allowed just two goals throughout the season, used a team effort to stop the high-scoring OESJ offense.
“Our defense played well together,” said coach Clapper. “They played together in layers and they know that playing together they can do more on their own.”
The fight continued in the second half as it appeared the game was heading 1-1 in overtime.
The game went into extra time but not before a goal was scored by each side in the last six minutes of regulation.
Andrew Snell gave OESJ a 2-1 advantage with 5:36 remaining, dribbling through the Northville defense before sending a shot just inside the left post. It was his 15th goal of the season.
As they did in the first half, the Falcons once again fell behind with another late goal.
This time, it was Moore, a senior defender, scoring the equalizer as he went home with a corner kick from Jacob Frank, with only 20 seconds left in regulation.
“I think our seniors especially stepped up today,” said coach Clapper. “Everyone dug deep and gave their all.”
The end result was a draw and both the teams were happy to face a solid opposition.
“I love playing these kinds of games,” said Coach Snell. “It’s always nice and it’s always fun to play with competitive teams.”
“It was a good game to prepare us for later in the season,” said Andrew Snell.
It wouldn’t be surprising to see the two teams re-section each other for Wednesday’s fight rematch.
Mason Snell said, “I think most people assume we’ll probably encounter him again in the section.” “Hopefully, next time the result will be different.”
Ahead of the rematch, both the teams are focusing on getting better as the season progresses.
“It certainly prepares us for the future.” Coach Clapper said. “Our goal is to improve every time we step on the field.”
Northville (5-0-1, 3-0-1 WAC on aggregate) is scheduled to host Loudonville Christian on Saturday at 11am. Coach Clapper would like to claim the 250th victory of his career.
OESJ (6-0-1 aggregate, 5-0-1 WAC) prepares to face Poland of Section III at Herkimer County Community College on Saturday at 1 p.m.
“It’s going to be another good test for us,” said coach Snell.
half time: Equals 1-1. Oppenheim-Ephrata/St. Johnsville Scoring: Mason Snell 1-0, Andrew Snell 1-1. Northville Scoring: Landon Ginter 1-0, Ethan Moore 1-0, Jacob Frank 0-1. Goalkeeper: Oppenheim-Ephrata/St. Johnsville, Petin Logan Dillenbeck, 7 saves. Northville, Dan Vannostrand, 5 saves, Landon Frazier, 1 saves.
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Categories: high school sports, sports