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Pressure’s On

Trojans Down Fredonia, 5-1, With Strong Second Half

Southwestern’s McKay Young, right, battles with Fredonia’s Zach Hall for possession of the ball during Thursday night’s Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association West Division soccer game at Charles A. Lawson Field. P-J photo by Tim Frank

It can be pretty hard to beat Southwestern on an even playing field.

When a team is down to 10 players, it becomes that much harder.

The Trojans scored three second-half goals after Fredonia lost a player to a red card and beat the Hillbillies 5-1 in Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association West Division boys soccer at Charles A. Lawson Field on Thursday evening.

“We tried to press their back line a little bit. At times we do it, sometimes we don’t. Tonight we didn’t want to do it because Fredonia usually has a very strong and talented defensive line,” Southwestern head coach Jason Deering said. “Once they went a man down, I absolutely wanted another goal or two.”

The Trojans led 2-0 until a last-second goal pulled Fredonia within one heading into halftime.

Southwestern’s Connor Young takes a shot toward the net during Thursday’s Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association West Division soccer game against Fredonia at Charles A. Lawson Field. P-J photo by Tim Frank

In the fourth minute of the second half, the field became tilted when the Hillbillies’ Zach Hall picked up his second yellow card of the night and forced his team to play with 10 players the remainder of the game.

“It was a second foul. It’s not hard to argue the second yellow card,” Fredonia head coach Jim Rush said. “If you’ve never played a game where you are a man down, you understand now how it impacts the game a little. … We learn from it. He felt bad about it. … Credit to everybody, because they gave maximum effort.”

Southwestern began to make them pay in the 52nd minute when Connor Young scored his fifth goal of the season after getting free inside the 18-yard box. After a few short touches between Fredonia defenders, the freshman buried a shot toward the far post for a 3-1 lead.

“It’s nice to have some of that younger energy. He and (freshman) Seth Vaughn bring a ton of energy for us,” Deering said. ” … They are very skilled. They have really bright futures for us.”

Connor’s older brother McKay Young got on the board with his sixth of the season in the 68th minute when he split a pair of Hillbillies defenders and scored into the near high corner past keeper Trevor Persch.

Senior Spencer Kane capped the scoring with his second of the season just over a minute later when he stole a misplayed Fredonia pass inside the 18-yard box and shot low past Persch for the final margin.

“He’s been playing really well. His crossing has come on. … It’s good to see,” Deering said. “He’s been busting his butt … and been a terrific leader this year. It’s nice to see him get a reward for his hard work.”

The Hillbilles rebounded from a poor start and actually controlled portions of the first half.

McKay Young fed his younger brother for the first goal of the game and Connor’s fourth of the season in the third minute of the game, but Fredonia came on strong in the middle portion of the half.

“After we gave up that goal three minutes in … I thought we were playing even or maybe even a little bit better than them,” Rush said.

In the 14th minute, junior Sal Tabone was just offside on what would’ve been a clean break in on Southwestern keeper Jonas Gesing. Less than five minutes later, Tabone banged a shot off the crossbar above Gesing.

“He’s a very dynamic player. He creates so many opportunities. He’ll ultimately cash in on them. He just creates so much for us,” Rush said of Tabone. “He created five or six golden opportunities. … When we’re in the attacking third, you can see how good he can be.”

In the 35th minute, the Trojans took a 2-0 lead as Kane took a shot from in tight that glanced off Persch and dribbled toward the goal line before it was powered home by senior Oliver Nagel for his fourth goal of the year.

“The first half was our best half of the season,” Deering said. ” … The way we were playing that first half, I was pretty confident we would keep that going in the second half and possibly put in a couple more goals.”

It looked like Southwestern would take that lead into halftime, but Fredonia was awarded a free kick in the dying seconds of the half. From nearly 40 yards away, Carson Cain struck a ball that was placed perfectly into the high far corner behind Gesing to make it 2-1 with 1 second showing on the first-half clock.

” … Carson put in that great shot. We practice that stuff,” Rush said. “For him to put it in with 1 second left was brilliant.”

The Hillbillies tried to use that jolt early in the second half, but that became nearly impossible after the early red card.

“These games are always fun to be a part of. This is a program that I’ve always tried to emulate and do well against,” Rush said. ” … We’ll play them under the lights at Fredonia State in a couple of weeks and we look forward to that.”

NOTES: Gesing made six saves for Southwestern, his best in the final seconds of the game when he came off his line to challenge a Fredonia breakaway.

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