SAYRE — It took a little while, but Sayre finally put a boys soccer game in the win column Monday night with a 6-2 Northern Tier League victory over Towanda.
Cody VanBenthyusen netted a hat trick for Sayre and three other Redskins scored in the contest.
VanBenthyusen opened the scoring with a goal at the 21:14 mark. Brayden Post added a goal for Sayre at 18:29, and VanBenthyusen got his second for a 3-0 lead with 17:52 to go in the first half.
Towanda’s Cody Griffin gave the Black Knights a glimmer of hope just 17 seconds later with a goal to cut Sayre’s lead to 3-1, but Sayre wasn’t done.
VanBenthyusen connected with 12:32 left in the half and Will Trump made it 5-1 with 3:31 left.
In the second half, Mason Hughey needed just 3:11 to up the lead to 6-1.
Dan Wright got Towanda’s final goal at the 19:13 mark.
Hughey added two assists for Sayre with VanBenthyusen and Nick Park getting one each.
Sayre fired off 19 shots to nine for Towanda and took 10 corner kicks to two for the Knights.
Trevor Campbell was credited with eight saves in net for Sayre. Aidan Hennessy and Wright combined for 11 saves.
Sayre will visit Wellsboro at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
Maine-Endwell 1, Athens 0
ENDWELL — Not only were goals at a premium in this nonleague game, shots were sparse, too. M-E only got off six shots and Athens had four.
“This is a solid team that we met tonight,” said Athens coach Jake Lezak. “The game was played between back lines as both teams were denied opportunities on goal and shots were at a minimum. Very much a momentum shifting game and back and forth. The teams were pretty evenly matched. I am very pleased with the way we defended them as they have put in a lot of goals so far this season. A few different plays for us up front and we may have come out on top. The chances were there but not great ones. We are only going to get better. I feel that we played well but not great.”
The Spartans’ Jack Coleman got one of his team’s six shots to go midway through the first half and that was that.
Athens’ Joel Maslin and M-E’s Matthew D’Arpino logged three saves each as both defenses controlled the game. M-E had three corner kicks and Athens took two.
Lezak said that while he wasn’t happy about the outcome, his team will be better for having played the game.
“This game was set up for us to see where we are at early on in the season,” said the coach. “I’m not pleased or happy that we lost, but we will learn from this and grow as a team. Many players stepped it up tonight and showed us what they can really do and that they belong on the field. So from here, we have to continue to work on how we gel as a team. We need to read each other better; we need a better more consistent passing game and first touch. This doesn’t mean that I think it was bad tonight. I think we played well. This is definitely a playoff caliber team and one we will see in the post season. You would expect a game to be won or lost by one goal in the post season.
“With all that being said, I think this taught the team and myself a lot about where we need to grow. I’d rather lose this early in the season with more games to play than in late October and have to wait another year. The unfortunate part is that we were missing a few key players tonight and lost two more. It would be nice to be healthy and be able to play them again to see how we have grown.”
Athens will host Northeast Bradford at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday.