FALCONER - On most Thursday mornings during the school year, Ross Beresford can be found at Southwestern Central School.
Yesterday, however, he was at a school of a whole different sort.
The senior - with his own school's permission, of course - was instead at First Covenant Church Preschool, donating his time and offering his help to his mother Maureen, a teacher at the school, and her young students.
Southwestern’s Tristan Desnerck (17) splits Falconer’s Drew Irvwin, center, and Nick Alexander during Thursday’s Division 1 soccer game. See additional photos at cu.post-journal.com.
P-J photo by Rob Tucker
But that inclination to assist others didn't end when his time at First Covenant was finished. For when Beresford took to the soccer field a few hours later at Falconer Central School he got right back to aiding others - this time, however, it was his teammates who were the beneficiaries.
Beresford, entering the game already the Trojans' leading scorer with seven goals and six assists, capped what had been a busy day by recording a pair of assists, along with a goal as well, to help lead Southwestern to a 5-1 Division 1 victory over Falconer.
Southwestern extended its unbeaten streak to six games, improving to 7-1-2 overall and 4-0-1 in league, while Falconer (1-8, 1-4) has dropped two of its last three and eight of nine.
Eric Priester made six saves against seven shots on goal in the victory.
Beresford gave the Trojans a 1-0 lead at the 11th minute after Tristan Desnerck made a steal about 10 yards outside the area and fed his teammate a pass up the middle, through the Falconer defense. Beresford, a step ahead of the defenders giving chase, did the rest and fired a low shot past Falconer goalkeeper Trevor Dykstra.
Just 10 minutes later Justin Loverme upped the advantage to a pair when he headed home Beresford's corner kick. It was the defender's first score of the season.
Southwestern coach Mark Sleggs was glad to see Loverme finally get rewarded for his hard work on the back line - the senior has been an integral part of a defensive unit that has surrendered a mere three goals in 10 games.
"I thought Justin on the back line of our defense really played a fine game today," he said. "He's been great for us all year, he's one of our captains and he's really done a great job."
A total of three Trojans scored their first goals of the season during the game - Loverme, Andy Bell and Adison Pirrello.
Bell made the score 3-0 at the 37th minute when he received a pass from Beresford, maneuvered around three Falconer defenders and delivered a mid-height shot that stretched the net while Pirrello tallied the fifth and final goal for the victors midway through the second half after managing to stay onside following a clear and then chip the ball over Dykstra.
"I thought that the goals we had were good goals," Sleggs said. "It was nice to see Andy and Adison get on there, that was good. The thing is we play a lot on turf and we're trying to get a little better at finishing. Even at this time of year that's something that teams are still working on."
Riley Rybicki accounted for the fourth goal, which came with less than 33 seconds remaining in the opening half.
Falconer, meanwhile, managed to avoid the shutout when the team's leading scorer, Nick Alexander, scored on a breakaway at the 72nd minute.
Despite the comfortable winning margin, Sleggs noted that the game was by no means an easy one.
"I was nervous because Falconer played at Fredonia and only lost 3-2, and I view us and Fredonia as similar teams. Falconer always plays well on their home field so you know when you come here you're going to have a game and they played real hard today.
"So I'm not getting a big head," he continued with a laugh. "(With six games remaining in the season) this is just the end of the first go-around in the league and it's not (getting any easier) because we've got to go through everybody again."
Southwestern, tied atop the Division 1 standings with Olean - winners over Westfield, 5-1, on Thursday - travels to Dunkirk on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m., while Falconer hosts Olean at 4:45.