Rangers, Saints boys soccer season end in semi-finals

By on November 4, 2019

Spencerport entered the Section V Class A1 boys soccer playoffs as the top seed and Churchville-Chili third, but both found themselves on the losing end of semi-final losses to Greece Arcadia and Greece Athena respectively.

The Rangers peppered the Titans net with ten shots in just the first 40 minutes of play – seven resulting in saves by Arcadia sophomore goalkeeper Gabe Taylor, but could not find the back of the net.

It was Arcadia who converted one of their few scoring opportunities as senior Cooper LaValley pounced on a misplayed ball in the Rangers zone and broke in all alone on the goal scoring at 29:17.

Spencerport continued the pressure throughout the second half as well with eight more scoring chances with sophomore Jacob Lenhard point blank shot was knocked aside by LaValley in the 50th minute and another on a rebound was tipped just clear of the crossbar ten minutes later.

“Soccer is a cruel game and you can control the game for the most part for 79 minutes and 58 seconds and you make one mistake and that can be it,” first year Spencerport head coach Jody Wyant said. 

“Hats off to their keeper – I think he made some outstanding saves – he did a great job. We couldn’t solve him. We’ve played them for 160 minutes now throughout the season and weren’t able to put one behind him.

“We were trying everything; we threw the kitchen sink at him and he came up huge for them. We had a huge senior class (17) and it’s frustrating that this is the way it’s going to end for them. I really thought this team had the skill to win a Sectional championship.”

Churchville-Chili suffered the same fate in a 3-0 loss to Athena, a game that was much closer than it appeared on the scoreboard.

Each team had a handful of first half scoring chances with the best coming in the 31st minute when senior Nick Millard’s cross was punched out but right to classmate Mario Cozzo, whose attempt was saved.

The Trojans broke up the scoreless tie at 45:50 when senior Othman Belhseine knocked in the rebound from a deflection for a 1-0 lead.

They made it 2-0 less than ten minutes later as Belhseine intercepted a mishit clear in the offensive third and scored his second of the contest.

He completed the hat trick at 70:34 after a cross from junior Dylan Rice.

“They are a quality team, but that’s been the story of our year having chances against quality teams, but I thought we played really well,” Saints head coach John Mahoney said. “You pull out maybe ten bad minutes in the game and we are 0-0, but critical moments and soccer is full of critical moments.

“They (Athena) have only lost two games for a reason … and they are probably, other than Sutherland, the most athletic team we faced this whole school year.

“Honestly we are a young team. My entire backfield and our entire midfield minus one guy will return along with our goalies. I like our group and look forward to the future.”