In the official record books, it will show that the Mayfield boys’ soccer team shared the Section II Class C championship with Maple Hill in 2021.
After the teams played to a 2-2 draw after 110 minutes, the top-seeded Wildcats moved on to the state regionals after edging the second-seeded Panthers, 3-2, on penalty kicks.
“I’ve been on the other end of it and it’s painful to have your season end in penalty kicks,” said Maple Hill coach Dan Gillespie, who has 707 career victories.
Eli Charlebois, Ben Marra and Avery Morris all converted penalty kicks for the Wildcats, while Landon Flach and Dillon Halvax were unsuccessful.
Thomas Young and Christian Scunziano were successful for the Panthers, while Britain Goodemote, Brice Williams and Brody Deal were not.
With Maple Hill up 3-2 in the penalty kick session, Deal sent his opportunity to tie the PKs over the crossbar, sending the Wildcats to the regional finals.
“Penalty kicks always have a little element of luck and they didn’t go our way,” Mayfield coach Caraco said. “I would send the five guys that I sent up there again every time.”
Charlebois and Colby Frazier scored in regulation for Maple Hill, while Halvax and Morris each had an assist.
Goodemote scored both goals for Mayfield in regulation.
Playing for the Class C title for the first time since 2016, Mayfield faced Maple Hill for the title once again. The Wildcats won the 2016 meeting and have won 20 sectional titles since 1990 and reached the championship game 24 times in that span. The Wildcats have won 15 Class C titles since 2000 and earned the Class B crown in 2010. Maple Hill won the 2018 Class C title before losing to Lake George in the 2019 semifinals.
“Maple Hill is a well-coached, well-disciplined and well-organized team,” Caraco said.
The Panthers last won the Class C crown in 2004.
Mayfield got out of the gate quickly, grabbing a 1-0 advantage when Goodemote scored on a brilliant individual effort just 3:33 into the game.
From there, the Panthers’ defense withstood an onslaught from Maple Hill for the remainder of the first half.
Defenders Young, Williams, Dylan Merk and Jacob Petoff along with keeper Aiden Martuscello helped Mayfield maintain its one-goal lead into the half despite being outshot by a 12-2 margin.
“Our defense was incredible tonight,’ Caraco said. “We’ve rode our back four all season long and they really stepped up to the plate tonight.”
In the second half, Maple Hill finally broke through for the tying goal when Charlebois scored on an assist from Morris with 28:08 to play.
The Wildcats grabbed the lead for the first time when Frazier flicked a header past Martuscello on a service from Halvax to make it 2-1 with 15:21 remaining.
Mayfield regrouped and pulled even when Goodemote tied the game on a penalty kick with 11:05 left in regulation.
“When Maple Hill came back and took the lead in the second half, it would have been very easy for us to back down,” Caraco said. “Instead, we battled back and were able to pull even again.”
The game remained knotted at 2-2 through regulation and two 15-minute overtime session, forcing penalty kicks to decide who would represent Section II in the Class C regionals.
Maple Hill advanced after converting three of their five penalty kicks.
Luke Hoffman made six saves for Maple Hill, while Martuscello finished with 15 saves for Mayfield.
“Mayfield had a really nice year,” Gillespie said. “They played well tonight.”
Maple Hill (17-2-1) advances to face either Section VII champion Lake Placid or Section X champions Madrid-Waddington on Saturday at either a Section VII or X site. Lake Placid and Madrid-Waddington are slated to meet today in a sub-regional contest.
Mayfield finished its season with a 17-2-2 record.
“I couldn’t be prouder of my team,” Caraco said. “Our seniors made a lot of memories in their final year.”
SECTION II CLASS C CHAMPIONSHIP
MAPLE HILL 2, MAYFIELD 2, MAPLE HILL ADVANCES ON PKS, 3-2
Halftime: Mayfield led 1-0. Mayfield scoring: Goodemote 2-0, Maple Hill scoring: Charlebois 1-0, Morris 0-1, Frazier 1-0, Halvax 0-1. Goalies: Mayfield, Martuscello, 15 saves. Maple Hill, Hoffman, 6 saves.