The road gets tougher this weekend as Section II’s soccer champions seek spots in the state semifinals.
The Guilderland and Northville boys get first crack at advancing, both playing on the road tonight.
The 22-0-0 Dutchmen play Section III champ Baldwinsville at 7 p.m. at West Genesee High School in the Syracuse area. The Falcons meet Section IX champion S.S. Seward at 5 p.m. indoors at the Hudson Valley Sportsdome.
The Mohonasen boys, coming off a 3-1 win over Section III champ Fulton, travel to Potsdam for a Saturday afternoon game against Section X champion Massena.
“We’ve been blessed this year to go undefeated,” said Guilderland coach Mike Kinnally after the Dutchmen edged Shenendehowa, 3-2, in Tuesday night’s Section II Class AA final. “We’ve been lucky, too.”
Guilderland has an athletic midfield anchored by seniors Ryan Ashbaugh and Rory Nunamacher, who work tirelessly in the middle to win possession. Middie Kip Stillman got the winner against Shenendehowa.
Up top, Guilderland boasts a dangerous tandem of seniors Sahr Nyuma and Tony Campagnano. Nyuma has five goals in four playoff games; Campagnano has three.
“We’ve been working hard all year,” said Campagnano.
“We’re just consistent, we don’t ride the wave too much,” said Kinnally, whose Guilderland teams have improved their win
total in each of his six years.Kinnally’s biggest concern is limiting the number of free kicks his team allows.
“We’ve only given up 11 goals all year [heading into the sectional final]. and nine of them came off free kicks or corners,” he said. “Every foul is a chance to lose the game. “
Northville’s game will be played indoors, but that doesn’’t concern Falcons coach Steve Clapper.
“We’ve been on that surface a couple of times this year, and we went to Johnstown today [Thursday], so we’re fairly comfortable on it,” said Clapper, whose team is 16-4-1.
Clapper is hoping his team’s balance will also help. Josh Ostrander and Jordan Williams are both in double digits in goals. Jimmy Cole had both goals in the Falcons’ win in the Section II title game.
“You can’t concentrate on stopping one player” Clapper said. “Others have stepped up all year.”
The last time Mohonasen won a sectional title, in 1970, there was no state tournament. This group of Mighty Warriors is three wins away from a state Class A title, as they travel north for a Saturday afternoon game against Section X champ Massena.
Senior Trey Janeski is one of the most dynamic players in Section II, but Mohonasen has had others come through with big postseason goals..
Midfielders Felix Bransch (five goals) and Steve Coughlin have made defenses pay for concentrating on Janeski.
“We have a lot of weapons on this team,” said Mohonasen coach Joshua Gregg. “Trey is smart enough, and has enough confidence in his teammates, to get them the ball when he is double- and triple-teamed.”
The Bethlehem girls will attempt to keep their record clean, as play Baldwinsville at 3 Saturday at Chittenango in the Class AA state quarterfinals.
The Eagles went to 21-0-0 with a 2-0 win over Niskayuna in the Section II title game.
“We felt this was our year,” said midfielder Taylor Teal, whose goal off a corner kick
decided the Section II final. “We felt our season ended too soon the last two years.”
There is also a Northville/S.S. Seward matchup on the girls’ side, this game one of four Saturday involving Section II teams.
The Falcons play at 1 p.m. at Broadalbin-Perth for a spot in next weekend’s Class D Final Four in the Cortland area.
Guilderland vs. Baldwinsville-III at West Genesee, 7.
Northville vs. Florida S.S. Seward-X at Hudson Valley Sportsdome, 5.
Mohonasen vs. Massena at Potsdam, 1:45.
Tamarac vs. Plattsburgh at Chazy, 1.
Maple Hill vs. Northern Adirondack at Plattsburgh, 11 a.m.
Bethlehem vs. Baldwinsville at Chittenango, 3.
Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk vs. Plattsburgh at Chazy, 3.
Maple Hill vs. Plattsburgh Seton Catholic at Broadalbin-Perth, 3.
Northville vs. Florida S.S. Seward at Broadalbin-Perth, 1.
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Categories: High School Sports