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Tioga County Sports Report
OWEGO — The Owego boys soccer team bounced back from a disappointing loss to Chenango Valley to defeat Waverly, 5-0, in STAC Central action Thursday night.

“I think it was our most complete performance so far this season and it reminded me a lot of the team the last two years,” said Owego coach Alessio De Michele. “I think it was a big confidence boost for these guys because we know Waverly was coming off a very good game with Seton the other night, so they were going to be up for it.

“We had to ride five, 10 minutes of a lot of pressure, but once we started to ping the ball about finding good angles and play in the attacking half, then I think you saw the best from us, which is encouraging. Tonight we got the goals that our play lately has deserved, but hasn't quite gotten, so it's a very good moment for us.”

“They were just hammering us in the midfield and we couldn't solve the equation tonight for some reason,” Ryck said. “I know we've got a lot more to give than that. We just didn't have all the right pieces tonight for some reason.”

Matt Higgins provided the River Hawks’ first-half fire power, registering a hat trick.

Owego’s first goal came with 15:25 on the clock and was controversial as Wolverine coach Eric Ryck was looking for an offsides call that never came.

Higgins made it 2-0 just 74 seconds later when he got behind a defender. Waverly goalkeeper Thomas Morley would block the initial shot, but the ball bounced right back to Higgins, who didn’t miss with the rebound.

The Hawks pushed their advantage to 3-0 at the break. As the clock ticked down under 40 seconds, Zyir Van Scoy launched a corner kick to the far post where Higgins headed it into the back of the goal.

“Matt's been the unsung hero of the team the last two years, but this year now that he's actually a junior, he is getting the recognition that he deserves,” said De Michele, “and he's taken a leadership role, obviously. He's a junior captain, but he's getting into more advanced positions too.

“He is a quality player, but he still dictates the game and doesn't overcomplicate things, and he makes the players around him better. “

Reserve Chris Porter added two second-half goals on crosses from sub Ruben Lemmon.

“Chris is just honestly one of my favorite characters. He is one of my students and I've been so delighted with his progress. He's just a kid that's bought into it. He (doesn’t have) a big soccer background, but his improvement over the last 14, 15 months is a real testament to an awesome character.”

Owego took 18 shots to the Wolverines' five and held a 4-2 edge in corner kicks.

Morley, who sprawled out to make several diving saves for the Wolverines, finished with 11.

“I was really happy with his play and really I was happy defensively,” Ryck said. “We just could not control that midfield and couldn't figure out how to control it. We were just giving them too much time on the ball. We just had to close the ball down sooner. We had to try to press harder and then we just waited too long to do it.”

Aiden Doherty came in late in the game and added two saves for Waverly (0-5).

Ben Rollison had five saves for the Hawks.

Owego (3-2) visits unbeaten Seton Catholic (5-0) Saturday.

Chenango Valley 3, Owego 1
Aiden Granger scored twice to lead the Warriors to a 3-1 victory in Tuesday’s match.

Declan Clark contributed a goal and an assist for CV (3-1).

Higgins accounted for the River Hawks’ goal.


IN PHOTO 1: Owego’s Chris Porter celebrates a goal. ... PHOTOS BY TIM TAYLOR.

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