Mechanicville added to its Section II single-season record for goals scored in Monday’s Class B boys’ soccer title game with Greenvillle, but the Wasaren League representatives could have used a couple more.
Liam Bowen and Jack Motta kicked in goals for Greenville, and the stingy Spartans did their defensive thing in a 2-1 victory at Colonie.
Colin McNutt scored for Mechanicville to tie the contest late in the first half, but that was it for a team that came in with 170 goals as well as a 34-game unbeaten streak.
“We got some momentum back,” Mechanicville coach Mike Ciulla said. “They’re just good. They swarmed to the ball and we couldn’t generate shots. We wanted to test their goalie.”
Mechanicville (No. 1 seed, 18-1-1) did both of those things but not to the extent it had in reaching the championship game, and Greenville (No. 2, 20-0-0) earned its first area flag since 2017 by making clutch plays when needed and catching a few breaks.
Nothing new for a Greenville crew that had surrendered just three goals before Monday’s final that matched state-ranked league champions.
“Their [Mechanicville] offense is amazing,” said Motta, a senior captain. “Our game is possession and defense, and we had to put a couple away.”
Mechanicville had two good chances to do just that when Ryan Grimmick two minutes in and Andrew Kraszewski eight minutes in ripped close-range shots that Greenville netminder Joey Domermuth gobbled up.
“In big games like this, one or two of those go in, and it’s a game changer,” Ciulla said. “Their goalie stepped up and made a couple of big saves.”
Motta scored the game’s biggest goal with 30 minutes left in the second half, making it 2-1 on a close-range kick after receiving a pass from Bowden.
“I was in front of their goalie and wanted to flick it in,” Motta said. “I got a touch and got it by him.”
Justin Manion nearly pulled Mechanicville even a minute later when he nailed the left post. Grimmick had Mechanicville’s last good chance with eight minutes left when his quick drive was turned aside by Domermuth.
“Everybody did their job, and it worked perfectly,” Motta said.
Bowden scored from about 20 yards away with 20 minutes left in the first half when his curling drive deflected off a Mechanicville player and went in.
“He’s there waiting to make the save, and on the redirection there was nothing he could do,” Ciulla said of his goalie, Dylan Raucci.
Greenville’s Benjamin Reinhard hit the crossbar with 12 minutes left in the first half, and a minute later, McNutt scored the equalizer. McNutt accepted a long pass from Grimmick and collided with Domermuth as he approached the net, and the ball trickled in.
Kraszewski fired wide left with two minutes to go in the half as Mechanicville sought the go-ahead goal.
“The one they put away, they worked hard,” Motta said. “They deserved it.”
Mechanicville’s last loss before Monday came against Schuylerville in the Section II Class B semifinal round in 2019. Mechanicville went 15-0 last season which included Wasaren League regular season and tournament championships (there were no soccer sectionals due to restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic). This year’s 18-1-1 mark included a tie with Class AA Guilderland and wins over Class AA Ballston Spa and Class A South Glens Falls.
Ciulla said he didn’t want to see the season end at this stage.
“How good of kids they are. It was fun to go to practice this year. There were no problems. No issues,” Ciulla said. “That’s what I am going to miss.”
Halftime: Tied 1-1. Greenville scoring: Bowden 1-1, Motta 1-0. Mechanicville scoring: McNutt 1-0, Grimmick 0-1. Goalies: Greenville, Domermuth, 6 saves. Mechanicville, D. Raucci, 12 saves.