SALAMANCA — Playing for the first time in a week, the Salamanca/Cattaraugus-Little Valley boys soccer team started slow, but coach P.J. Peterson is glad to have his group back for the final weeks of the season.
Portville (5-2) took a commanding 4-0 halftime lead and used five different goal scorers through the game in defeating Salamanca/CLV, 5-2, in CCAA East play. Nick Harmon had a goal and an assist, while Nate Petryszak, Christian Gariepy, Michael Cole and Michael Long scored one goal each. Alex Wenke made two assists and Kyle Mathes also had one. Panthers goalkeeper Zach Buckner made three saves.
Neland Cummings scored both second-half goals for Salamanca/CLV (0-4), with assists from Nick Savidge and Joe Quigley. Goalkeeper Jarrett Pond made 12 saves.
Salamanca/CLV lost the second half of last week due to a school shutdown in Cattaraugus over COVID-19 exposure, after a closure the previous week in Salamanca under similar circumstances.
“Last week I was able to run practices with the Salamanca players but not the Catt-Little Valley players and the week before it was the opposite,” Peterson said. “So my assistant ran practice in Cattaraugus.
“We started out slow, we were down 4-0 pretty quickly in the game but towards the end of the first half we started to play better and in the second half I was happy with how we played. We played hard, aggressive, stuck with it, didn't quit.”
Peterson hopes the team can finish out these last two weeks with his team back together.
“With COVID you just never know from one day to the next,” he said. “So that would be the ideal thing, we can finish out the next couple weeks and get these kids a season at least.”
Salamanca/CLV has five more games left on its schedule, playing Ellicottville and Pine Valley/Gowanda twice and a game at Randolph. The War Wolves are slated to close the regular season with a Thursday, Nov. 5 game in Salamanca against Ellicottville.
The Panthers have just two games remaining next week, playing host to first-place Ellicottville on Monday in a game that could determine the league title before visiting Pine Valley/Gowanda on Wednesday.