FREWSBURG - Derek Smith admits his favorite sport is basketball.
Judging from his performance on the pitch, however, soccer may be gaining ground.
The Frewsburg Central School senior continued to display his prolific offensive skills by tallying three goals and classmate Jacob Annis added three assists to send the Bears, the No. 6 seed, to a 5-1 victory over No. 11 Cattaraugus-Little Valley in a Section 6 prequarterfinal game Tuesday afternoon at the Frewsburg Sports Complex.
Caleb Goldfus of Cattaraugus-Little Valley, left, and Paul Mole of Frewsburg square off for the ball during Tuesday’s Section 6 Class C boys soccer prequarterfinal game. See additional photos at cu.post-journal.com.
P-J photo by Scott Kindberg
The win advances the Bears (13-3-1) into the quarterfinals at 3:30 p.m., Thursday at No. 3 Holland (9-7-1).
''It's going to be cold,'' Smith said, ''and they're obviously a good team, but I think we can pull it out.''
Continued strong play from Smith, who now has 24 goals on the season, will help.
''He can get loose, he can finish, he's always in the game, he's very competitive and he plays hard no matter what the score is,'' Frewsburg coach Mark Jackson said. ''He gives 100 percent.''
Smith's first two goals - they came at 21:32 and 21:58 of the first half - provided the Bears with an early cushion and he tacked on his final tally at 25:36 of the second half, pushing the hosts' advantage to 3-1. As it turned out, it was all the offense Frewsburg would need.
''As cliche as it may sound, it really is a team effort,'' said Smith, who only joined the varsity last year. ''I'm scoring goals, but the defense is working hard and the midfielders are working hard to get me the ball. It's a culmination of everybody.''
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Smith's first goal came on an assist from senior midfielder Paul Mole.
''I had an opening and made a diagonal run to the ball and (Mole) made the perfect pass,'' Smith said.
Twenty-six seconds later, he found the back of the net again.
''(Annis) flipped the ball up, snuck it past the keeper, I got my left foot on it and put it in.''
Cattaraugus-Little Valley (5-10-2), which suffered two regular-season losses to the Bears, 3-0 and 2-0, recorded its lone goal at 13:22 of the first half when junior forward Sabastian Jair scored on a play that started with a fine centering pass by freshman forward Kellen Martin.
The Bears' lead remained 2-1 at intermission, but Smith gave his team some breathing room 15 minutes into the second half, courtesy, once again, of Annis.
''Jake put it through, it bounced off the defender and I was able to get to it in time and deflect it in,'' Smith said.
Armed with a 3-1 lead, Frewsburg continued to control the game, tacking on late goals from Jordan Dilts (on another Annis assist) and senior forward Jesse Ernewein (unassisted). That was more than enough for keeper Justin Randall, who made five saves.
Jackson was pleased with his team's effort.
''They played their game tonight and played team ball,'' he said.