The Watertown boys soccer team truly weathered the storm on Tuesday night against Indian River.
The Cyclones survived a scare and rallied with three unanswered goals in the second half to edge the Warriors 3-2 in an A Division showdown in the Frontier League.
On a rainy and windy evening, Watertown (6-1, 5-0) trailed 2-0 at halftime, but responded by scoring two goals within a span of 3 1/2 minutes, including Brad McKinneys tying goal, and McKinney then set up Tyrell Thomas game-winning tally.
I think it was very important that we showed the character that we could come back, Thomas said. We werent going to give up after being down two goals in the first half.
The Warriors (5-2, 4-1), previously undefeated in the league, squandered the two-goal advantage that was built on a goal each from Erick Torres and Junior Malinowski.
We came here to compete with the best program in the north country, Indian River coach Fred LaVancha said. So theres something positive to take out of that but were not quite ready to beat Watertown yet. So weve got work to do and before we see them again, hopefully well get better from now until then.
The wind picked up considerably in the second half, and that was to the Cyclones advantage. The Cyclones played with the wind to their back throughout the final 40 minutes.
The wind tended to help us out in the second half, Thomas said, it was huge.
Shayne Watson started the Cyclones rally as he lifted a shot into the left corner of the net in the 49th minute.
Shayne Watson got us going in the second half with that outstanding goal, Heckman said. It really got us motivated and back into the game.
McKinney followed with the tying goal in the 53rd minute as he headed in a ball off a corner kick from Kenny Schimpf.
We knew coming in that this was a team we really had to (be ready for), McKinney said. We had to get used to the conditions, but we kept our composure, came back in the second half and played as a team.
Thomas tallied the decisive goal in the 63rd minute, collecting a crossing pass from McKinney and scoring into the right side of the net.
It was a great win, Thomas said. We really played well in the second half, we had to pick it up after that first half.
Watertown recorded nine of its 12 shots on goal in the second half and limited Indian River to only one shot on net after halftime.
It was just a great effort, Heckman said. We showed a lot of character in the second half coming back from two goals down and I give a lot of credit to our players.
Goalkeeper Noah Taylor made six saves to record the victory for the reigning division champion Cyclones.
Weve done really good so far, Thomas said. Now we have to keep playing well for the rest of the season.
Indian River struck early in the game as Torres tallied in the fourth minute with Kyle Barker assisting on the goal. The Warriors led 2-0 on Malinowskis goal in the 22nd minute, assisted by Tyler Cook.
LaVancha pointed out that his team is still off to a strong start this season and will be looking forward to a rematch with Watertown later on Oct. 9 at 6 p.m. in Philadelphia.
Were pleased where we are in terms of outcomes in games, LaVancha said, but we need to get better before we play (Immaculate Heart Central) on Saturday.
Heckman was pleased with how his team responded in the second half after facing a two-goal deficit.
Weve had a pretty good start, Heckman said. Were halfway through our league games right now and so far were undefeated hopefully we can keep that going.