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Lions advance to Class D finals

Zac Noka-Bailey chases down the ball for Elizabethtown-Lewis against AuSable Valley.

Zac Noka-Bailey chases down the ball for Elizabethtown-Lewis against AuSable Valley. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

— The Elizabethtown-Lewis varsity boys soccer team is heading back to where they feel they belong - the Section VII/Class D finals.

The Lions scored a 3-1 win against Wells Oct. 28 to advance to the finals, where they will face top-seeded and defending NYSPHSAA Class D champion Chazy at Plattsburgh High School Saturday, Nov. 2, at 7 p.m.

"We did what we needed to do offensively," Lions head coach Paul Buehler said after the game. "We wanted to find a way to get into that final space. Austin Morris is scoring and feeding people and defensively we are working to be more consistent."

Morris opened the scoring in the 20th minute on a cross from Damien Gay and added a second marker in the 31st minute heading in a cross from Hugh Harwood. Harwood then connected with Joel Morris for the third goal of the game in the 64th minute.

Justin LaPier, returning from a thumb injury, made four saves for the Lions, allowing the lone Wells goal on a penalty kick in the 71st minute. Wells goalie Ben Brennan recorded 25 saves in the loss.

Buehler said his team will have to focus over the next four days to prepare for their shot against the defending state champs.

"We will continue to work hard on our shape and being organized on defense," Buehler said. "Offensively, we will still work to get to that final space."

Buehler said one advantage for the team, who has lost twice to the Eagles in the 2013 season, is the condition of his roster.

"Everyone is finally healthy," he said. "Now it is about working with them to get everyone into their best positions during the course of the game."

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