By Keith Harrington
The annual "Lights Game" returned to Hartford Friday night after a one year hiatus, but it was the Granville boys soccer team that lit up the evening. The Golden Horde fell behind early in the contest, but rallied with a pair of second half tallies to defeat Hartford 3-2 in an Adirondack League match.
Jay Condon returned after three years away to coach Granville, and his quick impact on the Golden Horde was clear to many observers. A win over the Tanagers was huge in the attempt to rebuild the Granville program.
"The first time beating Hartford so this is big," an excited Condon said after the match. "I believe depending on goal differential we may be in second place in the East."
It certainly didn't look good early for Condon's team as Hartford jumped out to a 2-0 advantage. Ray Harrington gave Granville a 1-0 when Ray Harrington scored off an assist from Cody Baker at the 27:37 mark. Nate Fiske made it 2-0 Tanagers with an unassisted goal with 12:48 left in the half.
The momentum may have shifted late in the half. Sam O'Leary lifted a floater over the head of Hartford goalie Austin Wells to cut the Golden Horde deficit to 2-1 at the break. Matthew Vladyka picked up the assist.
Both teams had great chances in the second half, but it was the Golden Horde who cashed in. Connor Farrell tied the game for Granville with 31:54 remaining after his shot bounced off a Tanager defender and into the net to make it 2-2.
Farrell got the game winner with a low, hard blast from a few yards outside the 18 that beat Wells.
Caden Powers in goal, along with the Granville defense made the advantage hold up. Powers had several key saves on the night. He finished with nine stops.
Wells recorded six saves for Hartford.
"We tell the boys, have fun, have great effort and play fearlessly and we did that tonight," Condon said.
Granville is now 1-2, 1-2. Hartford drops to 1-2, 1-2.
Photo Credit: Stacie Arnhold