MECHANICVILLE — Without a Section II or state championship to play for during their rescheduled “Fall II” season, the Mechanicville boys’ soccer team set out to achieve some pretty ambitious goals nonetheless.
“First practice, coach [Mike Ciulla] says he wants us to try to get over 100 goals, get a Wasaren League championship again,” Mechanicville senior Tyler Tesoriero said.
Check, check . . . and a whole lot more.
Mechanicville finished off a dominant season Saturday afternoon, powering to an 8-0 victory on home turf against Waterford-Halfmoon to claim a fourth consecutive Wasaren League championship.
It put a cap on Mechanicville’s incredible run through its condensed Fall II season — a 15-0 record, 130 goals scored and only five goals allowed.
“I honestly didn’t think we were going to get that many goals,” Mechanicville junior striker Andrew Kraszewski said. “That’s a lot of goals.”
Despite playing just 15 games, Mechanicville became just the fifth team in Section II boys’ soccer history to score 130 or more goals in a single season, and the team’s plus-125 goal differential is the fourth-best in area history.
As the season — which featured 11 shutouts and only two games decided by fewer than five goals — wore on, Mechanicville’s dominance became old-hat, even to the team itself.
“Sometimes, it would be boring,” Tesoriero said, “because we’d go up five goals in the first five minutes. Then, we’d just mess around the rest of the game. Still pass the ball and all that stuff.”
“I wish we had sectionals,” Kraszewski said. “I think we could’ve made a good run at sectionals, and maybe states.”
Kraszewski had two goals and two assists Saturday, finishing off a season that saw the junior put up a program-record 37 goals, exceeding Jeff Luce’s previous record total of 33 that was set in 2018.
“Andrew’s unreal. Thirty-seven goals in a condensed season is unbelievable,” Mechanicville coach Mike Ciulla said. “He can find anywhere on the net. His footwork is unreal, and his teammates look for him because they have the confidence that he’s going to place the ball in the goal.”
Both of Kraszewski’s tallies came in Mechanicville’s four-goal first half. The junior scored the latter of the team’s back-to-back goals in a 36-second stretch with 11 minutes gone, following up TJ Bisaillon’s beautiful solo effort by slotting home a feed from Wyqie Aguda.
Kraszewski later danced through the Waterford-Halfmoon defense for a solo goal of his own that wrapped up the first-half scoring.
Though pleased with extending his scoring record, Kraszewski was happier that a few of his senior teammates — Tesoriero, Bisaillon and Jordan Nolin — scored in their final high school games.
“I tried to help with as many of them as I could,” Kraszewski said, “and I think I got some assists for a couple of them.”
Colin McNutt also scored twice for Mechanicville, and Glenn Prairie made five saves to record the shutout. Eighth-grader Alex Roy made seven saves for Waterford-Halfmoon.
Ciulla came into Saturday’s game wondering how the knowledge that it would be the end of his team’s season, no matter the result, would affect Mechanicville’s mindset.
“You know that you’re coming out for the last time playing on your high school field,” Ciulla said. “How are you going to perform? They came out and just dominated.”
It may have become routine for Mechanicville’s players, but their coach loved it from the opening practice until Saturday’s final whistle.
“It never gets old,” Ciulla said. “Whether it’s 1-0 or 8-0, it never gets old.”
Halftime score: Mechanicville led 4-0. Waterford-Halfmoon scoring: None. Mechanicville scoring: Kraszewski 2-2, McNutt 2-1, Tesoriero 1-1, Nolin 1-0, Hickey 1-0, Bisaillon 1-0, Aguda 0-2. Goalies: Waterford-Halfmoon, Roy, 7 saves. Mechanicville, Prairie, 5 saves.