POTSDAM - The two Potsdam entries to the North Country Men’s Summer Soccer League both earned a chance to play for their respective playoff division championships after notching opening round wins on their home turfs Wednesday evening.
CJ’s-Chip’s Place will now get set to defend the Division I title on Sunday against Ogdensburg Pepsi-The Place at the SUNY Potsdam turf field starting at 5:30 p.m. Pepsi-The Place advanced via a 2-0 win over Canton. Cornerstone-SeaComm will take on S&L Electric of Colton in the Division II final on Sunday. S&L earned a berth to the final by overwhelming AMP-Jreck Subs 7-1 at Swift Field in South Colton. The site of the Division II championship game is to be determined later.
DIVISION I SEMIS
CJ’s-Chip’s Place 3, Massena Savings & Loan-Kassian Realty 1: At SUNY Potsdam, the home team opened the scoring 10 minutes into the game when Tony Betrus launched a penalty kick into the top right corner of the net after teammate Mark Misiak was tripped up inside the 18.
But the Massena booters regrouped to tie the game less than five minutes later when Jason Hammill forced a turnover deep in the Potsdam zone and centered a pass to Connor Dix left along in front of the goal.
CJ’s-Chip’s Place threatened to regain the lead in the closing minute but a save by fullback Anthony Cortese on a point blank shot through a scramble by Ted Cook kept the game tied heading into halftime.
Misiak broke through for the eventual game-winner before Ted Cook finished off a play set up by Tom Crabill to seal the win.
Ben Steinberg turned aside six shots backstopping the win while Alan Davis made 11 saves working the Massena crease.
DIVISION II SEMIS
Cornerstone Services-SeaComm 2, St. Lawrence Federal Credit Union 0: At Clarkson’s Hantz Field, Blake Hence connected for a first-half goal then put the game out of reach when he headed home a cross by Ebuka Ononye with less than six minutes left in regulation to spark the Cornerstone-SeaComm booters into the title game.
Jordan Kendall stood tall between the pipes handling the nine shots he faced backstopping the shutout.