The Canton Bears Boys Varsity Soccer team lost to the Massena Red Raiders, 2-0. The Bears found themselves short staffed off the bench yet again, and again the Bears found a way to compete with teams that have better records than themselves.
The Bears had difficulties early in the game. Defense was a key for the Bears this game in particular, as Jack Kerrigan, Jacob Olmstead, and later Cooper Ladouceur and Tanner Hazelton, are typically not starting defenders, stepped up and played well for the whole game. The Bears increased amount of defense in the early game took a toll on defender Chirs Downs, when going for a ball he got cleated and had to come out. After the first 15 minutes or so, the Bears began to see some quality scoring opportunities off rushes and counterattacks.
Brad Frank did his best to control the Bears offense and give the defense a much needed rest. The Bears continued to play their best game against the top ranked Massena, and goaltender Cade Chezum bailed the Bears out whenever they needed it. Canton ended the first half in a 0-0 draw.
The second half would prove more difficult for the Bears. They found the longer Massena turf and the possession based Raider offense tiring. The short bench had made it difficult thus far, and even more so in the second half.
A gap formed between the offense and defense, and this gap made it so little offense could be generated from the back half the field. Massena used this to their advantage, and their first goal came around halfway through the second half, when a pass found its way to an unmarked man in the gap, who got just enough to put it over the head of the goaltender while also putting it under the crossbar for a goal.
The Bears did not give up. Multiple free kicks and corner kicks were won by the Bears, but none were put in the net. Owen Hall had crosses from the left wing that also provided quality opportunities for the Canton offense, but no results. The Bears were playing their defense up for a corner kick when the ball was kicked out to the Canton defense, and their efforts proved misguided as a breakaway developed the other way, resulting in a one on one with the goalie, who had no chance whatsoever to make a play, and Massena went up 2-0 to close out the scoring. The Bears finished the game disheartened because of the loss, but not because of how they played.
The Bears will play Friday at home against Salmon River.