As the defense of its Section III Class C title looms, the Manlius-Pebble Hill boys soccer team is not seen as an odds-on favorite, but a solid regular season has the Trojans in a good position anyway.
MPH helped that position on Thursday afternoon with a 3-0 shutout of Fabius-Pompey, taking a close contest and breaking it open with a pair of second-half scoring plays.
Solomon Ochieng, fast becoming the heart of the Trojans’ attack, scored twice, while Gerrit Church notched the other goal. Wyatt Scott finished with two assists.
On Friday, MPH took an important measure of itself against OHSL Patriot division leader Tully, and held up well, despite losing to the Black Knights 1-0.
Tough playing conditions affected both sides, as they slogged through a 0-0 first half. Tully inched in front, though, when Dan Morse, off a pass from Matt Voggel, converted the only goal. Trojans goalie Dylan Burrell stopped everything else on his way to nine saves.
Bishop Grimes played Fulton last Monday in a non-league game and held up quite well, playing the Red Raiders to a 1-1 draw.
Both goals came in the first half, as Nai Mayen found the net for the Cobras and Ross Maxam scored on Fulton’s behalf. Through the second half, plus a pair of overtime periods, Grimes held on to that deadlock, Mike Bespiaty recording 11 saves.
However, on Thursday the Cobras lost to McGraw 2-0. The chances were fairly even, but the Eagles converted once in each half as Jason Griffin and Nick Cowen scored, negating Bespiaty’s total of seven saves.
And it continued Friday with a 2-1 defeat to Faith Heritage. Grimes allowed Saints teammates Caleb Casamento and Mike Cathcart to score in the first half, and the Cobras could not rally, despite Elsa Adam’s second-half tally.