By CHRIS BROOKS, sports editor, wellsvillesports.com
No. 3 Bolivar-Richburg 4, No. 6 Caledonia-Mumford 0
BOLIVAR — The Bolivar-Richburg Wolverines are as hungry of a team as they’ve ever been before. After ending their regular season with five wins in their last six games, the chase was on. And it would begin on their home field one final time, Saturday night on as chilly of a Fall evening as you could imagine.
It wouldn’t faze the third-seeded Wolverines though. Why? — With a halftime lead in hand, their uncontrollable fire that was their offense, continued to burn ever so brightly against No. 6 Caledonia-Mumford.
With goals, come insurance in the second half. For the Wolverines, one of those pieces of insurance morphed into one of the most magnificent scoring sequences you may see all season long, one that encapsulated a quintet of tape-to-tape passes down the field into the offensive zone occupied by the visiting Raiders, starting from midfield.
Moving as rapidly as they were passing the ball along to one another, the play would then find its home, where it was finished off by Ryder Easton, giving the Wolverines all the momentum they would need to finish off their 4-0 shutout in Class C2 Quarterfinal action at Dunsmore-Latimer Field.
“We did some great things tonight and we are so proud of every one of these boys,” said Wolverines coach Mike Zilker. “It’s a win that we will definitely enjoy before we get back to work, but I tip my hat towards Cal-Mum. They gave us a great, hard-fought round of soccer. They have a great coaching staff, and some very talented players that really tested our limits at times.”
Bolivar-Richburg (14-2-1) was responsible for recording a pair of goals in each half on the attack, while the defense held Caledonia-Mumford at a complete standstill, despite some late spurts of pressure, as they jump-started the scoring just over 10 minutes into the game with the first of two Aydin Sisson assists working its way towards Ian Unfus, who finished off the play himself in front to garner the lead.
Later on, the lead would grow to a pair on a corner kick opportunity elected to be taken by Reiss Gaines, who would then claim the first of his two assists as a direct result from a leaping David Baldwin in front of the Raiders net, connecting with the high-flying ball with his cranium to extend the advantage with 12 minutes left.
More damage would be done after a tight battle through the midfield with the Raiders for a good portion of the second half, and it would come after knocking at the door three consecutive times from the corner to keep the pressure boiling at an accelerated rate.
It would then boil over past midway to go, after one of the most electrifying scores of the season came into full fruition.
Incepting at midfield on a ball possessed by James Margeson off a throw-in by Ian Unfus for the Wolverines, they worked their way down the field with surgical precision against the Caledonia-Mumford defense. The ball worked its way up towards Gaines, who used some finesse to try and shimmy his way around the defense before dropping the ball off to Landon Barkley.
The tape-to-tape passes continued along into the left wing for Unfus, and then to Aydin Sisson just a few feet ahead of him. On the run In, he garnered enough room around his defender to squib a picture-perfect pass across and into the right wing, where a streaking Ryder Easton bolted his way in for the one-timer that simply would not be denied its entry into the Raiders net, extending the Wolverines lead out even farther to three.
“The things we work on at practice day in and day out, it truly knows how to come into fruition on the field. It’s a true testament to the work ethic that this team possesses,” said Zilker. “Surrounded by great coaches, great players and even greater fans, I’m truly blessed. It was an all-around great showing by the boys. They all played hard and put the we before the me, to get this win. From our keeper, to the defense, to the midfielders, our strikers, they all played hard and well.”
One final piece of insurance to carry all the way to the end was garnered just a few minutes later by Braden Zilker, as he finished off another fine passing sequence with 13:56 left to play, burying a pass from Gaines in the midst of a scrum in front of the Raiders net, to the left side to help close it out.
The four goals for the Wolverines were totaled off 14 shots while allowing seven back the other way on defense — all of which were set aside by David Abdo, whose brilliant season between the posts continued on with another shutout to begin the team’s Sectional journey.
Next up for the Wolverines, is the Class C2 Semifinal round which begins on Wednesday, as they now prepare to face No. 2 Byron-Bergen/Elba at a site and time to be determined, for a chance to claim a spot in next weekend’s Finals.
No. 2 Harley Allendale-Columbia 1, No. 7 Genesee Valley/Belfast 0
ROCHESTER — The Genesee Valley/Belfast was limited on offense, but their defense in turn, would attempt to keep a high-profile No. 2 Harley Allendale-Columbia offense at bay along the way, Friday afternoon up north.
Although Genesee Valley/Belfast was held to just a single shot on offense, they would keep the Wolves quiet on the attack through their midfield battle for much of the battle.
But then, an opening was created. One that Finn Costello would make sure was the deciding factor in the endgame, as he connected with the back of the net just past the 10 minute mark in the second half to break it open for good, sealing Harley Allendale-Columbia’s spot in the Class D1 Semifinals with a 1-0 shutout of Genesee Valley/Belfast.
Costello’s goal came at the 28:51 mark remaining in the second half of play for the Wolves, scoring it off a feed dished along by Alessandro Bosa. The shot was one of seven total the Wolves offense would produce, while the defense kept Genesee Valley/Belfast at a standstill with just one shot.
In goal, Thai Norasethaporn set aside six saves for the visitors in white and black.
The season is over for Genesee Valley/Belfast, as they wrap up their campaign with a record of 7-7-4. The team will graduate 11 seniors at the end of the school year in June between the two schools, in Norasethaporn, Justin Hill, Stiven Lopez, Daemon Cobb, Canaan Sullivan, Tyler Rawleigh, Carter Stout, Luke Snyder, James Frawley, Connor Hull and Alessandro Marotca.
No. 1 Fillmore 9, No. 8 Alfred-Almond 0
FILLMORE — The Class D1 title defense for the Eagles of Fillmore could not have gotten off to a more magnificent start on Friday. In what was their final home game of the 2022 season, the top-seeds would close it out with the largest of bangs against No. 8 Alfred-Almond, as Mitch Ward led the way with a 10-point evening on offense in the team’s 9-0 shutout in Quarterfinal action.
“We had an exceptional start to our Sectional push this evening,” said Eagles coach Jarrett Vosburg. “The defense played phenomenally once again to earn the shutout. But it was the play of Jack Cool, Eben Schilke and Zach Sisson in the center of the field that really got our offense clicking to generate the chances that Mitch (Ward) and Henry (Sardina) were able to consistently finish. Alfred-Almond never quit and they should hold their heads up high for playing a hard-fought, physical battle. We’ll enjoy tonight, but we have to set our sights on a very good team Tuesday night.”
The Eagles (17-0) wasted no time igniting the firepower early, scoring a pair of goals in the first four minutes with Ward having a hand in both, dishing off an assist to Brent Zubikowski before scoring his first goal over a minute later to break the ice with a 2-0 lead. Ward and Henry Sardina would then exchange the next three Fillmore goals beginning just past halfway in the period, and spanning across the next six minutes to branch their lead to five, with Ward scoring two of them to complete his hat trick.
Jack Cool would record his second assist on Sardina’s goal after dishing along a pass to Ward for his first.
In the second half, it was Sardina who found a way to complete his hat trick, scoring two of the team’s four goals remaining left to put away in the back of the Alfred-Almond net, sandwiched in between Ward’s fourth of the game and Cool’s first to complete his four-point night. Adding helpers along the way were Zubikowski, Eben Schilke (2) and Nolan Krzeminski.
All nine goals were recorded as nearly half of the team’s shots, as they outshot the visiting Eagles by a 20-4 count. In goal, Luke Colombo recorded the four-save shutout to keep the fort held down on defense.
Fillmore now moves into the Class D1 Semifinal round, which will begin on Tuesday as they face the No. 4 Keshequa Indians at a time and venue to be determined. It will be the first time the two teams have met in Sectional play since the Indians defeated the Eagles back in the 2020 COVID-19 shortened season, in the Finals by a 2-0 count.
Class D2 Quarterfinals
No. 2 Houghton Academy 3, No. 7 Jasper-Troupsburg 0
HOUGHTON — A fast start for No. 2 Houghton Academy got them off to the right start Friday afternoon, building the lead they would use to their fullest advantage against No. 7 Jasper-Troupsburg, extending it later on a quick sequence in the second half to work their way towards a Class D2 Semifinals berth in their 3-0 shutout at home.
“It’s an exciting time to grab a shutout when we can. It was a quick game in the first half, but our midfield started to take control in the next. They either ran out of gas, or we really pushed the pace against them. It was a great team win to get us going. A great first step.” said Panthers coach Jeff Prentice.
Josh Davidson was the first to strike for Houghton Academy (11-5-1), as he connected on the opening goal in the first 10 minutes off a pass dished along by Brian Patipewe to crack open the scoring. The lead would hold throughout the first half before the hosts in blue and white would push their lead out insurmountably near midway.
Pedro Rebello and Lucas Matias would trade goals and assists on the next pair for the Panthers, scoring them both in a five-minute span with Rebello’s being scored in the first 15 minutes while Matias found the back of the net five minutes later to conclude the scoring, sealing Houghton Academy’s trip to the Semifinals along the way.
Further in-depth statistics were not made available to report upon publication.
Houghton Academy will now await the winner of No. 6 Hammondsport and No. 3 Northstar in the Class D2 Semifinals on Tuesday, at a site and venue to be determined.
No. 4 Hinsdale 2, No. 5 Friendship/Scio 1
HINSDALE — They were one of the County’s hottest teams going into the beginning of the second season on Friday. After starting their season with a 1-7 record, the Bobcats of Hinsdale put the pedal to the metal in the back half of their campaign, winning five of the next seven games to capture what would be their final home game this year, in Sectional play.
Their opposition, a familiar one — No. 5 Friendship/Scio, a team the four-seeds have had close battles with twice already. Both games ended in 3-2 results, in a win for each squad. It was only fair that the rubber match in the Class D2 Quarterfinal round was decided in a similar fashion.
After a brilliant start in the first half, it was a lead that the Bobcats were able to hold all the way down to the wire. Although Friendship/Scio was able to put on some waning minute pressure, the hosts were able to fend it off excellently to make sure their spot in the Semifinal round next week was claimed, as they forced elimination against their opposition by taking the 2-1 win in the game, and the series.
“Hinsdale’s been playing better, and they’re not the same team they were since the start. So are we. We knew this was going to be a tight game, just like the two games we’ve played already,” said Friendship/Scio co-coach Dillon McFall. “It’s been our Achilles heel all season, not scoring in the flow of the game. We had to be better, we weren’t. We got down after that early corner kick and then a turnover in midfield they scored on from 25 yards out. We were able to respond in the end with a good chance to take it to them, but we couldn’t.”
Nearly 90 seconds removed from the opening kick at center, Hinsdale (7-8-1) did not waste any of it while they punctuated on their first goal of the game on a corner kick, which sailed in on the Friendship/Scio goal by Preston Jackson, shattering the ice immediately with a 1-0 lead to gain control of.
Later on, the Bobcats would find their groove one more time before the first half reached its conclusion, as Robert Childs added to their lead with seven minutes left, scoring on a solo rush into the offensive zone to branch their advantage to a pair — a buffer zone that was maintained for much of the second half.
When the opportunity arose to put pressure on down the stretch, Friendship/Scio (6-10-1) was able to do just that with the help of Brenden Loucks, as he rocketed his shot in on goal off a direct kick with 14 minutes left in regulation. The visitors would do all they can to remain on Hinsdale’s coattails all the way to the end, but ultimately, the early start would prove to be just enough to suffice in the end.
20 total shots on the attack were garnered between the two teams, with the Bobcats outshooting Friendship/Scio narrowly by an 11-9 count. In goal, Ethan Chapman picked up the win behind eight saves, while Taylor Moore had nine for the visitors in white. Friendship/Scio’s season comes to an end after a 6-10-1 campaign in 2022. The team will graduate eight seniors at the end of the year between the two schools, in Loucks, Moore, Jordan White, Chase Kinnicutt, Frank White, Hunter Hill, Camron Blouvet and Cooper Hosley.
“Our senior class this year, they had solid careers that was really highlighted by playing in the Finals last year,” McFall said of his Scio boys. “A lot of great memories, and it’s easy to remember tonight’s loss, but they had some great success throughout their careers. To have the Friendship kids in with us, it was a great blend. It was nice to have Brad (Gertis) along for the ride as well through the journey this year.”
Hinsdale will now get set to face top-seeded Mount Morris in the Class D2 Semifinal round, beginning on Tuesday at a site and time to be determined over the weekend.
No. 1 Mount Morris 8, No. 8 Andover/Whitesville 0
MOUNT MORRIS — Top-seeded Mount Morris struck while the iron was hot on their home grounds, Friday afternoon. Almost immediately after the final bell for the week, the Blue Devils went to work against No. 8 Andover/Whitesville, rattling off an eight-goal barrage to set up shop for their berth into the Class D2 Semifinal round with an 8-0 shutout.
Statistics were not made available to report upon publication.
Andover/Whitesville’s season has come to an end, as they wrap up with a record of 1-16 overall. The team will graduate just two seniors this upcoming June in CJ Estep and Will Kent.