New York State boys soccer: Welcome to Middletown! A tournament preview

MIDDLETOWN — Only 20 boys soccer teams in the Empire State are left standing and they’ll converge on Middletown this weekend for the New York State Public High School Athletic Association championships.

One team – Newburgh Free Academy – won’t be taking a very long bus ride at all. As the lone Section 9 representative remaining in the tournament, they’ll also be sleeping in their own beds instead of shacking up at a hotel.

More on all 20 teams coming up in just a bit.

About Middletown: All of the state tournament games will be played on three fields near Middletown High School. General admission tickets will cost $8 on both Saturday and Sunday. The main playing surface, Faller Field, is a beautiful artificial turf stadium with seating for 4,000. It’s one of just a handful of FIFA-approved surfaces in North America. The secondary field is a grass surface adjacent to the main stadium. Another grass field a few blocks down the road at Twin Towers Middle School will be used for the Class B semifinal games. The high school is easily accessible off I-84 or NYS Rte. 17.

Faller Field is used for more than just soccer - but take a look at the video scoreboard. Marlboro players celebrate their Section 9 Class B Divisional Playoff win over Red Hook on Saturday, October 29, 2011. Marlboro defeated Red Hook, 49 - 12. (CHET GORDON photo/Times Herald-Record)

Speaking of how to get here, I made an interactive map including all of the participants in this year’s tournament. Click on the map below to see the full version.

View larger map


Now, on to a brief scouting report on all 20 teams in the tournament:

Class AA

Newburgh Free Academy boys soccer players hold aloft the Section 9 Class AA plaque after defeating Monroe-Woodbury in double overtime Saturday afternoon Nov. 5 on Faller Field. (Will Montgomery photo/Times Herald-Record)

Newburgh Free Academy (15-4-2, Section 9) vs. Webster Schroeder (19-1-1, Section 5) Saturday, 8:45 a.m., Faller Field (grass)

About NFA: The Goldbacks were the No. 3 seed in the Section 9 tournament, knocking off No. 2 Warwick in a Section 9 semifinal game played at Maple Grange Park in Vernon, N.J. Then, in the Section 9 finals, NFA played Monroe-Woodbury, which had defeated the Goldbacks twice during the regular season (combined score: 2-0). At the time, the Crusaders were the No. 1 ranked team in the state and slotted at No. 10 in the ESPN/Powerade Fab 50 national poll. NFA won that game at Faller Field when Rodrigo Guerra scored with five minutes remaining in the second overtime. NFA defeated Horace Greeley in a regional semifinal on Faller Field and then topped Vestal in penalty kicks Saturday in Oneonta. They’ll return to their home away from home at Faller Field looking to win a second state title in three years. NFA beat Shenendehowa and Brentwood in the 2009 Final Four.

For more on NFA, we’ve got you covered right here on Varsity845.

About W-S: Anthony Rozzano scored with 6:40 left in regulation as Webster Schroeder defeated Lancaster in the western regional final Saturday in Spencerport. Rozzano had missed Friday’s practice with strep throat.

For more on W-S, check out the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle.

Shenendehowa (18-1-0, Section 2) vs. Hicksville (16-1-2, Section 8), Saturday, 11:15 a.m., Faller Field (grass)

About Shen: Adam Barlow scored the only goal in the game’s 17th minute in a 1-0 victory over Baldwinsville Saturday in a regional final in Colonie. The Plainsmen have won 17 Section 2 titles. Head coach Mike Campisi has over 500 career victories and his teams were voted national champions in 1988 and 1991. Shen has won the state tournament five times under his watch: 1988, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993 and 2005.

For more on Shen, check out The Saratogian.

About Hicksville/Brentwood: The Section 8 and 11 champions, respectively, play for the Long Island title 6:30 p.m. Sunday night at Adelphi University.
Brentwood (15-2-1) and Hicksvlle (15-1-2) both received byes to the regional final stage.

Update (8:45 p.m.): Hicksville defeated Brentwood, 2-0 Sunday night. Peter DiLorenzo scored the game-winner in the first half. Here is some background on Hicksville from MSG Varsity Long Island.

Class AA Championship game: Sunday, 12:30 p.m., Faller Field (turf)

Class A

Maine-Endwell (11-4-1, Section 4) vs. Brighton (13-4-3, Section 5), Saturday, 1:45 p.m., Faller Field (grass)

About M-E: After playing to a scoreless draw, Maine-Endwell defeated Lakeland on penalty kicks Saturday in Oneonta. Lakeland had defeated Section 9’s Goshen, a state semifinalist in 2010, in penalty kicks in the regional semifinal. Maine-Endwell’s last state soccer title was a Class B championship in 1995.

For more on M-E, check out the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin.

About Brighton: The Barons, on the other hand, had no problem scoring goals. defeating Section 6’s East Aurora in the regional finals, 4-0. It was the fourth consecutive shutout for Brighton.

For more on Brighton, check out the Democrat & Chronicle.

Last week, Faller Field was the site of a dramatic Class A regional semifinal shootout shootout between Section 9's Goshen (players in foreground) and Section 1's Lakeland. (Jeff Goulding photo/Times Herald-Record).

East Syracuse-Minoa (15-5-1, Section 3) vs. Jericho (13-2-2, Section 8), Saturday, 4:15 p.m., Faller Field (grass)

About East Syracuse-Minoa: Nick Capriotti and Senid Hakic scored goals and Casey Sullivan made six saves in East Syracuse-Minoa’s 2-0 victory over Massena in the regional finals at Christian Brothers Academy-Syracuse.

For more on ES-M, check out the Syracuse Post Standard.

About Jericho: The Section 8 and 11 champions, respectively, played at 4 p.m. Sunday for the Long Island title at Adelphi University. Jericho (12-2-2) and East Hampton (12-1-2) both received byes to the regional final stage. Jericho won, 2-1, behind two goals from Michael Blumberg. He must be nicknamed “Mr. Mayor,” am I right?

For more on Jericho, check out Newsday.

Class A Championship game: Sunday, 3 p.m., Faller Field (turf)

Class B

Broadalbin-Perth (17-0-3, Section 2) vs. Akron (19-1-1, Section 6), Saturday, 9:15 a.m., Twin Towers Middle School (grass)

About B-P: The Patriots smashed Beekmantown in the regional final, 5-1. Broadalbin-Perth, located on the southern shores of the Great Sacandaga Lake, is certainly used to playing on turf. The Patriots have a beautiful facility of their own that is often used for Section 2 playoff games. It is B-P’s second trip to the final four in three seasons.

For more on B-P, check out Gloversville’s Leader-Herald.

About Akron: Randy Mayer scored the game-winner with 5:56 left in the second overtime as Akron defeated Bath-Haverling in the western regional final. Senior Peter Duerden, 6-foot-2, 225, is attracting major college attention.

For more on Akron, check out the Buffalo News.

Wheatley (13-3-0, Section 8 ) vs. Clinton (20-0-0, Section 3), Saturday, 12:30 p.m., Twin Towers Middle School (grass)

About Wheatley: Wheatley defeated Blind Brook in the regional final, 2-1. Blind Brook had knocked out the Section 9 champion, John S. Burke Catholic, a state finalist last season, in the regional semifinals. One of Wheatley’s top players, Jonathan Kowalczyk, will play his college soccer at Siena.

For more on Wheatley, check out a Section 1 perspective from the Journal News.

About Clinton: Clinton has won 14 of its 20 games via the shutout, so sweeper Sam Corrigan and goalkeeper Rob Larkin play pretty large roles on this team. It is the first time the team has ever advanced to the state semifinal round.

For more on Clinton, check out the Utica Observer-Dispatch.

Class B Championship game: Sunday, 10 a.m., Faller Field (turf)

Class C

Maple Hill (20-1-0, Section 2) vs. Holland (15-2-1, Section 6), Saturday, 8:30 a.m., Faller Field (turf)

The Maple Hill boys soccer team celebrates its 2010 Section 2 Class B championship victory over Johnstown. (Will Montgomery photo/The Record (Troy, N.Y.)

About Maple Hill: Like Shenendehowa, Maple Hill is a traditional soccer power in Section 2. The Wildcats, coached by Dan Gillespie, won the regional final with a 4-1 victory over Madrid-Washington Saturday in Schuylerville. Senior midfielder Willie Monty, besides having an awesome name, is one of the team’s leading scorers. He wears can’t-miss yellow spikes. Maple Hill has won 11 Section 2 titles in the last one dozen years and own 19 in total. The Wildcats have won the Patroon Conference regular season title 22 of the last 24 years. The team won state championships in 2000 and 2006.

For more on Maple Hill, check out The Record. Here’s more on head coach Dan Gillespie.

About Holland: Holland played Williamson to a 2-2 draw in the western regional final, but advanced on penalty kicks. That’s about all I know on Holland, which apparently doesn’t get much coverage.

For more on Holland, check out WHEC TV’s website.

Port Jefferson (17-1-1, Section 11) vs. Lansing (20-0-0, Section 4), Saturday, 11 a.m., Faller Field (turf)

About Port Jefferson: Port Jefferson was a 2-1 double overtime winner over Alexander Hamilton in the regional finals. Hamilton had knocked out Section 9’s S.S. Seward in the regional semifinals. Blake Bohlen scored the game-winner for Port Jefferson in the regional final and he’s on Twitter: @Bbohls10.

For more on Port Jeff, here’s a Section 1 perspective from the Journal News.

About Lansing: Tully (17-2-1, Section 3) and Lansing (19-0-0, Section 4) were all set to play a regional final Friday at Morrisville State College, but it snowed. They played at 2:30 p.m. Sunday and Lansing’s Benji Geisler scored the only goal in the 44th minute. Here’s a stat for you: Lansing has outscored its opponents this season 120-5.

For more on Lansing, check out the Ithaca Journal.

Class C Championship game: Sunday, 10:30 a.m., Faller Field (grass)

Class D

Chazy (17-3-0, Section 7) vs. Alfred-Almond (18-1-2, Section 5), Saturday, 1:30 p.m., Faller Field (turf)

About Chazy: Brandon Laurin and Josh Barriere scored for Chazy in its regional final victory over Parishville-Hopkinton at Plattsburgh High School Saturday. Austin Santore made two saves in the shutout.

For more on Chazy, check out the team’s official Twitter feed, @Chazysoccer.

About Alfred-Almond: A-A defeated North Collins 2-0 in the western regional final to advance to the semifinal round for the first time in school history. Senior goalkeeper Patrick Chamberlain has a school-record 17 shutouts this season.

For more on A-A, check out the Wellsville Daily.

Hamilton (18-3-0, Section 3) vs. Fort Ann (16-2-2, Section 2), Saturday, 4 p.m., Faller Field (turf)

About Hamilton: In between the snowflakes, Hamilton defeated Cherry Valley-Springfield in the regional final, 1-0. Senior Drew Thompson will play his college soccer at Colgate, which is located in Hamilton.

For more on Hamilton, check out the Utica O-D.

About Fort Ann: In its regional final, Fort Ann knocked off Section 9 champion Family School, 1-0. It is Fort Ann’s second straight trip to the Final Four. Fort Ann’s biggest strength just might be its height, as the Cardinals have multiple 6-footers on the pitch.

For more on Fort Ann, check out the Glens Falls Post Star.

Class D Championship game: Sunday, 1 p.m., Faller Field (grass)

One rule quirk for you – don’t expect any shootouts on Sunday – straight from the NYSPHSAA website: “Championship games of the NYSPHSAA Boys State Tournament will be recorded as a tie and co-champions will be declared after the overtimes have been played out and the score remains tied.”

For updates this week and throughout the tournament, you can follow me on Twitter: @THR_Montgomery

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