WATERTOWN — Historically the games between the Watertown and Lowville girls soccer teams are low-scoring affairs, but the Cyclones couldn’t miss late in the second half Wednesday.
Alex Matucek notched a second-half hat trick, and Delaney Callahan and Tatum Overton each posted a goal and an assist as Watertown pulled away to beat Lowville, 6-1, in a battle of Frontier League division leaders. The “A” Division-leading Cyclones scored four goals in a 15-minute span to cap their best offensive output of the season.
“We really hit our stride towards the end,” Matucek said. “We brought the energy and Lowville’s a great team, but we worked really hard in practice.”
Watertown (6-0-1 overall, 4-0-0 division) got off the blocks early in each half to score goals quickly in each half. Callahan was the catalyst and used her speed on the wings to make life difficult for strong “B” Division-leading Lowville (5-2, 5-1) and its defense, which had allowed only one goal in six games.
“They don’t let those balls through very often and they’re always there on defense,” Matucek said. “They’re just all around a really solid team.”
Overton scored in the eighth minute for the only goal of the first half, but Watertown got another tally after just 35 seconds into the second half thanks to Callahan. The early goals in each frame helped the Cyclones settle in.
“I think those early goals were very important because it kept our energy and kept the pressure on them,” Callahan said.
Lowville cut the lead to 2-1 after Jenna Weiler tucked in a shot under the crossbar for a goal after a corner kick midway through the second half. However, the Cyclones responded quickly with a goal by Matucek off a corner kick of their own just over four minutes later.
“I thought that (goal) was big because we put a lot of pressure on them,” Lowville head coach Leo Sammon said. “But that goal by Watertown kind of broke our back.”
The Red Raiders were forced to make some changes to try to get back into the game. However, the Cyclones pushed forward and found more opportunities on offense, which they cashed in.
“I think they did put an extra forward up, so we did get a little bit of an advantage,” said Watertown coach Mike VanNostrand said.
Matucek then scored her second of the game less than two minutes later and the Cyclones came close to getting another when Willa Overton’s free kick rattled off the crossbar. Julia Askins provided a goal with just under two minutes left in regulation before Matucek finished off her third goal of the half 26 seconds later.
“It was awesome to see her score that hat trick because her goals really got us hyped up,” Callahan said.
Cyclones goalkeeper Alana Mastin stopped nine shots while Olvia Brandel saved six shots for the Red Raiders. Mastin was excellent in commanding a defense that withstood the Red Raiders attack. The senior kept things under control and handled many shots and crosses that came her way.
“She’s very vocal and her punts her great,” Matucek said. “She’s a brick wall back there.”
The Watertown win is the start of a key stretch that sees it play three Frontier League rivals and a matchup with Canton in a six-day span, concluding with Carthage on Sept. 28. VanNostrand knows his team won’t be able to take any matches off during this part of the slate.
“We got South Jefferson on Friday, Canton on Saturday, and they’re a good team, and IHC on Monday.” VanNostrand said. “We’ve got one practice and then four straight games.”
The two teams will play each other again in Lowville on Oct. 2. The Red Raiders will be ready for that rematch on their home field.
“We’re young and we learned a lesson,” Sammon said. “I got a great group of kids that worked very hard.”