As the number one seed and defending champion from 2019, NAC West Division title winner Lisbon cruised into Monday’s 7 p.m. Section 10 Class D Championship game despite encountering some finishing problems in a 1-0 win over Edwards-Knox in the Class D quarter-finals.
The Golden Knights (14-1-1) rectified that short-coming with two goals in the first 11 minutes and prevailing 3-0 on the strength of three first half goals against Chateaugay (10-8) in the second game of semi-final action at Potsdam High School on Wednesday night.
The first game saw seventh seeded Morristown (11-5-1) charge into the All NAC West title game with their third straight high-scoring win and second straight upset with a 5-1 win over third seeded Parishville-Hopkinton (13-4).
Morristown downed Hermon-DeKalb 8-1 and then upset second seeded and NAC East Division Champion Colton-Pierrepont 4-3.
Both the Knights at four and Morristown at 18 are state ranked in the Class D poll and as divisional rivals will be playing for the third time.
Familiarity breeds respect for Lisbon Coach Diky Marcellus.
“We beat them 6-0 at our place and 3-1 their place and we know we have to do. We did it in the regular season.”
“They have one of the best finishers around in Tristin Simmons, an outstanding center halfback in Aaron Woodcock and other very good players. They are scoring goals off nice plays and passes” said Coach Marcellus.
“We have to control the ball to limit their chances and we have to convert out chances the way we did tonight.”
LISBON STRIKES EARLY
Lisbon executed its game plan precisely against a young but fast Chateaugay team scoring three first half goals.
Stopper back Isaac LaRock scored on a hard shot after making a run out the midfield past two defenders in the ninth minute and striker Miles Gendebien buried a hard shot two minutes later.
The lead swelled to 3-0 in the 33rd minute when Gendebien played the ball outside to Griffin Walker who drilled a hard shot past Bulldog keeper Owen Rockhill who finished with eight saves.
“We did exactly what we had to in the first half. In the second half they pressured us some but we held firm. They had some fast guys but Ben LaRock at sweeper neutralized that speed. He was all over the field breaking up plays and clearing the ball,” said Coach Marcellus.
Caleb Richardson stopped four saves in the shutout.
The trio of Tristan Simmons with two goals and one assists, Aaron Woodcock with two goals and Cooper Bennett with one goal and one assist collaborated on pretty passing sequences throughout the game. The Rockets defense did not allow a goal from scrimmage and defenders started scoring sequences starting with Joe Wrobel intercepting a clear and relaying the ball to Simmons for the first goal.
Ethan Graveline, Jack Evans and Colin Howard all supplied tough stops and goaltender Peyton Donnelly made a diving save to protect a 3-1 lead.
“The boys played an awesome game. The defense was lockdown and the offense was clicking,” said Morristown Coach Glenn Colby.
“Back to work tomorrow for the boys and we are going to rest some of the boys for a couple of days. Tristin Simmons is really banged up and the Howard boy has a bad ankle.”
The Rockets opened a 3-0 lead 1:39 into the second half. Aaron Woodcock scored from Bennett on recycled give and go for a 2-0 halftime lead and Bennett scored from Simmons 1:39 after halftime.
John Snell buried a penalty shot at 6:29 for what proved to be P-H’s only goal. Woodcock answered with a penalty shot and Simmons converted inside in the final three minutes.
Donnelly finished with 12 saves for Morristown and Eric Hayes stopped seven shots for the Panthers.