It turns out there was one Schalmont player who could contain Trey Jasenski on Saturday.
The problem is, he graduated eight years ago.
After he and his Mohonasen teammates were chastised by their coach — 2000 Schalmont grad Joshua Gregg — Jasenski led the Mighty Warriors to their first boys’ soccer sectional title in 38 years, a 4-0 win over their crosstown rivals in the Section II, Class A championship game.
“We were so ready for this game. We were running and jumping around, but our coach told us to sit down and relax,” said Jasenski, who headed in an A.J. Prezkop free kick five minutes into the game that sent Mohonasen to its first postseason title since 1970, a 4-0 win over Guilderland.
Jasenski set up the other three Mohonasen goals, two by Felix Bransch and one from Sean Coughlin, as the 13-8-1 Mighty Warriors successfully navigated a tough bracket that saw them take out two 2007 champions and a league champion.
The early goal had the effect of taking both the Sabres and their half of the large crowd at Colonie out of the game, while allowing the Mighty Warriors to settle. Mohonasen had also beaten Schalmont, 2-1, two weeks ago.
“We knew we had to get a goal early, because they usually have a bigger group of fans, and we wanted to try and quiet them down,” said Prezkop. “As soon as we scored, it released the pressure. We didn’t have to bang the ball forward. It’s much easier to play when you’re a goal up.”
“I think we relax and play how we know how to,” said Jasenski of getting the early advantage. “If don’t have it, we start kicking the ball as hard as we can. We were messing up the easiest passes. If we relax, we can play around people. It’s mostly nerves.”
“I stressed to keep our emotions in check, play soccer, ignore the crowd and play for the 24 guys on the field. Just play our game, and we can beat anybody,” said Gregg.
“You’ve got to take chances to try to get it back. That’s why it ended up 4-0 instead of 1-0 or
2-0,” said first-year Schalmont coach Jason Beck. “We came out a little flat,and gave up a goal early. That hurt us. Then we had to start taking chances and we got bit. It’s a gamble.”
“It gives you that momentum, and then the goals kept coming,” said Warriors’ senior midfielder Sean Shields. “Mohonasen hasn’t been to a Class A final in over 30 years, and we knew we were going against Schalmont. The pressure was on.”
Jasenski helped give his team more of an edge when he back-heeled a ball to Felix Bransch on a give-and-go, with Bransch burying his shot 3:51 into the second half.
“I was able to get into space and my teammates found me,” said Jasenski, who scored both goals in the teams’ previous meeting. “I tried to pay them back.”
“Trey has a sixth sense that not all players have,” said Gregg, who took over the program when his older brother, Corey, was called to active military duty. “We knew Schalmont’s defense was going to collapse on him. He ended up with three assists because he found the open men.
“Some players with his ability would just try to take it on goal themselves every single time. But Trey has faith in his teammates, and he knows that if he has three guys on him and he lays it off, good things are going to happen. “
The win capped a tremendous sectional run for Mohonasen, seeded seventh based on league winning percentage. The 13-8-1 Warriors took all of their losses playing as one of three Class A teams in the 12-team large-school league.
“We had the most difficult road you could have possibly figured out — the three-time defending Class A champion [Burnt Hills]; the
No. 2 seed in Scotta, who could have easly been the No. 1 seed; the No. 3 seed in Gloverville and the No. 1 seed in Schalmont,” said Gregg.
Next up is a Wednesday game in the Syracuse area against the winner of Monday’s Section III title game, which pits East Syracuse-Minoa against Fulton.
Northville beat Loudonville Christian School, 2-1, on a pair of second-half goals from Jimmy Cole, in the Class D title game.
“We played with a lot more tenacity in the second half,” said Falcons coach Steve Clapper, whose team doesn’t play again for another six days, needing one win to get to the state Final Four.
“I felt we were going through the motions in the first half. This time of year, you can’t sit back.”
Cole finished two quality services from Josh Ostrander.
“Both goals were good goals,” said Clapper, whose team is 16-4-1,
with its first sectional title since 2003.
Galway’s bid for a third straight sectional championship came up short when Lake George scored 3:03 into the second 15-minute overtime for a 1-0 win in the Class CC title game.
“It’s all about being able to finish, and we weren’t able to finish our chances,” said Eagles coach Neal Evans. “We controlled the first overtime, and had some opporturnities, but couldn’t put it in the net.
“They got an opportunity and put the ball in the goal.”
Galway finished the season
18-3-0, shut out only twice.
fordians come up short
Waterford-Halfmoon fell to
Maple Hill, 2-1, in the Class C final, as Chris Despart got the winner for the Wildcats one-third of the way through the first overtime.
“We always seemed to play better this season when we were pushed,” said Waterford coach Fred Englemann, whose team responded to a 1-0 halftime defict with a Kyle Lessard goal 10 seconds into the second half.
“I told them not to rush, to be patient, that we had a lot of time,” said Engelmann of his second-half strategy. “But it was a great way to start the second half. I thought we stepped up our game, especially in the second half.