WELLSVILLE — Wellsville and Dansville both entered Monday in need of a spark, something to change the trajectory of their seasons after starting the night with a combined winless streak of 17 games.
Although a win wasn’t forthcoming, both squads might have found some positive momentum.
The Mustangs scored in the first half and the Lions answered with a goal in the second half as they battled to a 1-1 tie Monday evening.
While Dansville (4-8-1) finished with a narrow 17-14 advantage in shots, the Lions turned up the heat in the second half and overtime, finishing with 11 corner kicks to Dansville’s three.
Pacey Scott, who scored Wellsville’s goal, nearly put away one of those corners for the game-winner off a header with a minute left in the second OT. The Mustangs also had a chance late, but the Lions knocked away Andrew Vogler’s direct kick in the final seconds.
“I think we outplayed them the last 60 minutes of the game,” said Wellsville coach Matt Johengen. “We did a lot of good stuff and lived in their defensive end. At halftime we talked about attacking the flanks, and we really did a good job of that. We won a ton of corner kicks, and that was a result of playing those flanks, getting it deep and making them have to clear their own end.”
Scott netted the equalizer just under eight minutes into the second half for the Lions (1-11-1). The ball was headed a couple times in front of the net, and Scott finished it off with a header of his own for his second goal of the season.
Treyton Alsworth had the assist. Alsworth had a crack at the game-winner with 45 seconds left in the first OT session, with his shot sailing just high and ricocheting off the bottom of the field goal post.
“Pacey is a competitor,” Johengen said. “He wants it, he wants it really bad. He got to almost every one of those corners and 50/50 balls. Treyton had a really nice opportunity. The goalie (Ryan Conklin), to his credit, made a good play to come out and slide and cut down the angle, and force a tough shot.”
Dansville struck late in the first half to take the lead. Vogler got the ball in some open space and took a few dribbles towards the net before cutting a pass to Rhett Sullivan. The senior put away his team-leading eighth goal to the opposite post.
Wellsville keeper David Lawson stopped several prime Dansville scoring opportunities in the second half. Lennart Poeppe got loose on a one-on-one, but Lawson stopped both the initial shot and the rebound. Lawson also stopped a Poeppe header four minutes later.
“I tell you what, that’s the best I’ve seen him play,” said Dansville coach Steve French. “He made some great saves and kept them in the game tonight, for sure.
“It was pretty even tonight,” French added. “The first half we had a lot of chances, a lot of shots. That’s been our problem. You have to put it in the net to do well. It’s a matter of putting it in the net and finishing the ball.”
Lawson finished with 14 saves for the Lions, who snapped a streak of 10 straight losses.
“We’re playing better. The last couple games we’ve really come out and played well, and it’s the right time of the season to do that,” Johengen said. “Our record doesn’t necessarily show it, but we’re going in the right direction.”
Ryan Conklin had 11 saves for Dansville, which stopped its seven-game losing streak with the tie. The Mustangs’ brutal trip through their Livingston County Division I league schedule resumes Wednesday with a visit from rival Wayland-Cohocton.
“It’s not getting any better, we’ve got Wayland, Bath and then Livonia,” French said. “It’s tough, but it’s ok. We’re working on sectionals now. Hopefully come sectional time playing this difficult schedule will help us out.”
Wellsville is back in action today, looking for a W against visiting Cuba-Rushford. The Lions defeated the Rebels, 1-0, back on Sept. 2 for their lone win.
“They’ve been playing teams tough,” Johengen said. “I know they’re athletic, they’re physical and they’re going to give us a heck of a game. It’s tough playing back to back, but our guys are ready for it. I feel like the weight has been lifted a little bit and we finally got a point. Hopefully we carry that momentum into tomorrow.”