Warriors defend home field

WILLSBORO - Two early goals sparked by Clay Sherman proved to be an insurmountable challenge for the Eagles as Willsboro grabbed a 3-1 non-league win at home against Westport Sept. 28.

With rain pouring down early in the first half, Sherman got a direct kick to slide past Westport goalie Jesse Stevens from 35 yards out at the 2:39 mark.

Less than ten minutes later, Sherman sent a nice crossfield pass that found Clayton Cross unmarked on the right side. Cross one-touched it in for an insurance goal.

"We were able to get those two quick ones with the weather the way it was," said Willsboro head coach Andrew Lee. "I think it could have went either way."

As the rain cleared, however, Westport began to take better control of the game, sending the ball deeper into the Warriors' field and setting up some tries from the corner. Kevin Russell provided a steady presence on defense and Liam Davis helped maintain possession in the midfield.

"They did not give up," said Lee. "They continued to battle us even after the 2-0 lead we got on them."

Willsboro's shots became more limited in the second half, though a breakaway by Cross near the 12-minute mark nearly resulted in a third goal, skipping just wide of the right post.

With just over 25 minutes left to play, Westport forward Nathan Gay got past his defender in the box and tapped it past Willsboro goalie Justin Drinkwine to Jack Newberry, who cut the 2-0 lead in half.

Desperate to tie, the Eagles pressed more heavily on offense, but Drinkwine and Tyler Pierce prevented many shots from developing.

"I felt like we played well in the second half," said Westport head coach Mike Davis. "We just could not catch up."

With time running out, Patrick Wells sent a through-ball that found Alex Hamel in the box. Hamel fired it into the far side of the net to put the game away for Willsboro.

Overall, the Warriors outshot Westport 17-5, but definitely got a good challenge from the talented Eagles.

"They're tough," said Lee. "They're a good Division II team."

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