Chautauqua Lake Earns Clean Sheet In Frewsburg
FREWSBURG — The first time Chautauqua Lake and Frewsburg played this season only two goals were scored in the contest, one apiece as the division foes tied.
The same number of goals found the back of the net in Wednesday’s rematch, but this time there was a different result.
On the back of two first-half goals and a strong defensive effort, Chautauqua Lake held off Frewsburg for the 2-0 Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association Central Division victory.
“I felt like the level of play the last time we met wasn’t the true testament of what we can play like,” Chautauqua Lake head coach Connor Barnes said about the victory. “I think tonight was much closer to what we can play like. We did a better job throughout the entirety of the game, especially in the crucial minutes where we had opportunities to score. I think this is how the first game could have gone, but I’m just glad we got one of the two.”
In the opening half the chances were pretty even between the Thunderbirds and the Bears, but Chautauqua Lake (5-1-1, 3-1-1) just had the better ball luck.
With roughly six minutes left in the first half, Elias Quintero fired off a hard shot that a Frewsburg defender attempted to block, but the ball was destined for the back of the net and Chautauqua Lake took the lead off the own goal.
“Unfortunately, they scored two quick goals,” Frewsburg head coach Spyros Kolivas said. “One went off our own defender and the other one snuck by my defenseman. We’re an even team, we played them up there and tied 1-1. We might see them in the playoffs again.”
After the goal, Chautauqua Lake continued to press the Frewsburg (4-4-2, 2-3-1) defense and it paid off again when Cole Otto four minutes later dribbled just outside the top right of the box and eyed up the nearside corner before he pulled the trigger and picked his spot take the 2-0 lead.
The late tally could have either had put Frewsburg down in the dumps for the second half or motivated it to get back in the game.
It turned out to be the latter, however Brendan Klossner and his crossbar had other ideas as the Thunderbirds held on despite a strong second-half push from the Bears.
In the opening minute of the second half, Frewsburg hit the crossbar and then two more times it was stopped by the goal frame and kept off the scoresheet.
“The ball didn’t go in the net for us,” Kolivas added. “We created some good opportunities … they’ve got a good team.”
Partway through the half, Frewsburg moved goalkeeper Connor Murray into the field to help with the attack and it did help bolster the offense, but the Chautauqua Lake defense managed to right its wrongs from the first meeting where it gave up a last-minute tying goal and maintained the clean sheet.
“You can’t think about it as a second half, you have to think about it as a new game 0-0,” Barnes said about the final 40 minutes. “At any time the momentum can change. We scored two goals in like a five-minute period, so theoretically in the second half they could do the same damage to us.”
The victory maintains Chautauqua Lake’s glimmer of hope to catch Maple Grove in the race for the league title when the two meet for the second time on Monday. After two straight losses, Frewsburg will look to get back into the win column at North Collins on Monday.