Nov. 2—BEEKMANTOWN — Sports can be a game of inches.
No better example than Northern Adirondack's 2-1 loss to Section II's Waterford-Halfmoon in a Class C Regional Semifinal in the boys soccer NYSPHSAA playoffs.
"They left it all out there," Austin Lambert said. "All the seniors, juniors and sophomores did. Everybody left it out there there's nothing left in anybody.
"I believe that our guys are good enough to score anytime they just the ball rolled a couple bad ways couple bad on lucky 50s and just didn't go our way."
The game may have finished differently if the ball rolled in favor of the Bobcats, as numerous shots ricocheted off the crossbar early in the contest.
None were closer than NAC's first shot in the game, when the ball hit the corner of the net and bounced away.
But, the Bobcats didn't give up and continued to press for shots but were unable to break the Fordian defense to get clean looks.
"I couldn't ask for any harder on my guys and I know every single one of us right now is thinking, 'It's on me. I could have played harder,'" Austin Lambert said. "But we all played our hearts out and [Waterford-Halfmoon] is a good team. They have a chance to go really far."
The game was an evenly matched game that saw Waterford-Halfmoon pounce on rare opportunities to take, and expand, the lead. NAC didn't make it easy for them.
But, Fordian Josh Catanzarita worked around defenders at the top of the box and sent one into the right corner of the goal to take a 1-0 lead midway through the first half.
Minutes into the second half, Waterford's Logan Sheehan gave the insurance goal the team needed.
NAC would get on the board midway through the half when Kingston Tucker scored on a penalty kick to cut the lead in half.
The Bobcats were simply unable to tie the contest as they applied pressure as the minutes wound down. Numerous times head coach Ian Spear called for his entire team to move up to hopefully find the tying score.
While it never came to fruition, and the season came to an end, Spear wanted to remind his players of the successful season they had.
"You know, it's always bittersweet when you're not on the winning end," he said. "I don't want the guys to take away anything from the season that we had. It was a special one. We hadn't won a sectional championship in a while and everybody wants to go on.
"But you know, you gotta win these games and they were a tough team so we give them credit. There's good news and bad news every game but I think we can learn from it and we're already on the planning board for next year."
The Bobcats have a strong core returning to a team that finished the year 11-6 overall and 9-3 in the Northern Soccer League's Division II.
But, they will be losing six seniors who were instrumental in getting the team to where they are.
"I mean, this senior class, I can't say enough about them," Spear said. "We didn't have captains this year, but every one of those six seniors played a role as a captain and it really was the group mentality.
"They all did it together and we're gonna miss them and there's some key parts. They helped build something and I hope that they understand that they're part of this and and that it really goes beyond this year for those six guys for the groundwork they put in"
Waterford-Halfmoon 2, Northern Adirondack 1
WFH 1 1 — 2
NAC 0 1 — 1
1st Half- 1. WFH, Catanzarita (Soden), 22:19.
2nd Half- 2. WFH, Sheehan (Soden) 7:52. 3. NAC. Kingston, PK, 17:05
Shots- WFH, 9-8
Saves- Manor, NAC, 5. Griner, WFH, 5