MIDDLETOWN – The top 20 boys’ soccer teams in the state will begin arriving in Middletown on Friday afternoon to get ready for the 2012 NYSPHSAA boys’ soccer tournament, which will be played at Faller Field for a third straight year.
First, a few things about Middletown for any out-of-town visitors headed here this weekend.
Most games will be played at the Faller Field complex on the Middletown High School campus. You can get to the main parking lot via Carpenter Ave. or Gardner Ave. Ext.
There is one FieldTurf surface, which is one of a handful of fields in North America certified by FIFA. That field has plenty of seating. Adjacent to that field is a grass surface. There is limited seating around the grass field, but one can get a pretty good view from the top step of the bleachers on the turf field.
The two Class D games on Saturday will be played on a grass field at Twin Towers Middle School, which is a short three-block walk from the high school.
Fans planning on driving to Middletown should be sure to have a bit of cash on hand. There was a small free charged for parking last year.
General admission tickets are $8 per day.
There are plenty of places to get a bite to eat along Route 211, but there are also some fine restaurants downtown. There is a concession stand between the turf and grass fields and last year there was a concession stand set up at Twin Towers as well. You won’t starve in Middletown.
I’m making a map to note the locations of all the teams that have qualified for the final four. Here’s the link.
(Semifinal games on Faller turf field)
Webster Schroeder (18-1-2, Section 5) vs. the Long Island champion (Brentwood vs. Syosset, Wednesday, 6:30 p.m. at Dowling College), 1:30 p.m.
About Webster Schroeder: Webster Schroeder has outscored opponents, 60-9. Webster Schroeder appeared in the state finals last year, losing to Hicksville in the championship game, 1-0. For more, check out the Section 5 team page and the Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester).
About the Long Island champion: Due to schedule backups because of Hurricane Sandy, Brentwood and Syosset play in the Long Island final at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Dowling College. Brentwood is the No. 1 team in the state, is a heavy favorite. Brentwood is the No. 2 ranked team in the entire nation in the latest NSCAA poll. Check it out here. Webster Schroeder is No. 22 in the same poll. This semifinal could be the game of the tournament – don’t miss it!
Utica-Proctor (17-3-0, Section 3) vs. Arlington (20-1-0, Section 1), 4 p.m.
About Utica-Proctor: Of the 25 players on the Proctor roster, 23 were born outside the United States. Anne Delaney wrote a great story on the team in the Observer-Dispatch. Check it out here.
About Arlington: With no Section 9 teams reaching the state semifinals, the Admirals are likely the biggest local draw, hailing from the Poughkeepsie suburbs. Arlington beat Section 9’s Washingtonville in the quarterfinal round. Here’s my story on the game, which has a Washingtonville bent.
Class AA championship game: Sunday, 1 p.m. on Faller grass field
(Semifinal games on Faller turf field)
Williamsville East (19-0-0, Section 6) vs. the Long Island champion (East Hampton vs. Jericho, 4 p.m. Wednesday at Dowling College), 8:30 a.m.
About Williamsville East: How about this for a stat? Williamsville East has allowed only four goals in 19 games, all wins. The team hasn’t given up a goal since a 2-1 win over Williamsville South on Oct. 2. Senior forward Brandon Schick has an obscene 35 goals and 15 assists. For more, check out the Section 6 team page.
About the Long Island champion: East Hampton and Jericho play in the Long Island final at 4 p.m. Wednesday at Dowling College. Jericho was the 2011 state champion, beating Maine-Endwell, 2-0. For updates from the Long Island games on Wednesday, check out the Long Island soccer twitter page at: @811soccer.
Fowler (19-1-0, Section 3) vs. Port Chester (18-1-2, Section 1), 11 a.m.
About Fowler: Fowler trailed Troy High at halftime, 1-0, in a state quarterfinal last weekend, but the Falcons rallied with two second half goals in a 2-1 win. Here’s more from the Post-Standard (Syracuse), which incorrectly identified Fowler’s opponent as Troy Catholic.
About Port Chester: Port Chester was a 1-0 winner over Maine-Endwell in the state quarterfinals. Maine-Endwell had knocked Section 9 champion New Paltz out in the opening round of the state playoffs. Freshman Steven Hernandez has scored the go-ahead goal in all five of Port Chester’s postseason games. For more, check out the Journal News (White Plains).
Class A championship game: Sunday, 10:30 a.m. on Faller grass field
(Semifinal games on Faller grass field)
Livonia (19-0-1, Section 5) vs. Mattituck (16-3-1, Section 11), 1:45 p.m.
About Livonia: Livonia beat East Aurora in the state quarterfinals, 3-2, to advance to the state final four for the first time since 1995. The team has outscored opponents 93-7. For more, check out the Section 5 page.
About Mattituck: Mattituck won a wild one Tuesday against Section 9’s Spackenkill in the state quarterfinals. Stephen Urwand scored the game-winner with 7:04 left in regulation as Mattituck won, 5-4. Spackenkill had led 2-1, but Mattituck rallied for a 3-2 lead before Spackenkill tied the game again at 4-4. For more on that game, check out the Suffolk Times.
Ichabod Crane (20-0-1, Section 2) vs. Susquehanna Valley (13-2-0, Section 4), 4:15 p.m.
About Ichabod Crane: Having grown up in the Capital Region, I know a few things about Ichabod Crane. First, they cancel school at the sight of a single snowflake. Second, the school’s mascot is of course a take on the protagonist of Washington Irving’s Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Third, the school has a great soccer team this year. The Riders’ most recent win was a 3-0 victory over Northeast Clinton in the state quarterfinals. Read more in the Times Union (Albany).
About Susquehanna Valley: The Sabres defeated Section 3’s Westhill in the state quarterfinals, 1-0. Senior defenseman and captain Joe Stento scored the game’s only goal. He has had surgery on his left leg and has played through pain all year. For more, read the Press Sun-Bulletin (Binghamton) and the Star-Gazette (Elmira).
Class B championship game: Sunday, 3 p.m. on Faller turf field
(Semifinal games on Faller grass field)
Lansing (20-0-0, Section 4) vs. Hoosick Falls (17-5-0, Section 2), 11:15 a.m.
About Lansing: Lansing beat Section 3’s Fabius-Pompey in the quarterfinals, 3-0. Lansing also carried a perfect record in the state semifinals in 2011, losing to Port Jefferson, 1-0. According to the Press Sun-Bulletin (Binghamton) Lansing has allowed one goal all season. For more, click here.
About Hoosick Falls: It’s going to be a busy weekend for Hoosick Falls sports fans. The football team plays Section 9’s James I. O’Neill in a state semifinal at Deitz Stadium in Kingston on Saturday. The girls’ soccer team has also advanced to the state semifinals in the Cortland area. Hoosick Falls beat Lake Placid in the state quarterfinals, 1-0. For more, check out the Bennington (Vt.) Banner and my alma mater, the Troy Record.
Williamson (19-0-2, Section 5) vs. Port Jefferson (18-0-0, Section 11) 8:45 a.m.
About Williamson: Junior striker Tom Ferland leads the team with 18 goals and nine assists. Check out the Section 5 site for full team stats. According to the Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester), the Marauders are 33-0-3 in their last 36 matches.
About Port Jefferson: Port Jeff, the defending state champion, knocked off Section 9’s Rhinebeck on Tuesday, 2-1. Newsday has some info, but it’s a paywall site. At last update, Blake Bohlen led Long Island with 30 goals.
Class C championship game: Sunday, 10 a.m. on Faller turf field
(Semifinal game at Twin Towers Middle School, Wisner Ave., Middletown)
Fort Ann (16-3-1, Section 2) vs. Jasper-Troupsburg (15-4-2, Section 5), 9:15 a.m.
About Fort Ann: Nick Lehoisky scored just over two minutes into overtime in a 1-0 victory over Section 9′s Webutuck last Friday at Faller Field. Fort Ann will make its third straight trip to the final four. For more, check out the Post Star (Glens Falls).
About Jasper-Troupsburg: Jasper-Troupsburg has scored 44 goals and allowed only 12 in 21 games. The team hasn’t allowed a goal since the playoffs started, a streak of five straight clean sheets. Junior striker Tyler VanSkiver has 17 goals and seven assists. For more, check out the team page here.
Poland (17-0-4, Section 3) vs. Chazy (19-0-1, Section 7), 12:30 p.m.
About Poland: Poland’s starting keeper, Mitch Jones, was knocked out of a quarterfinal round game with just over two minutes to play, but backup Max Morrissey literally saved the day in victory that went to 5-3 on penalty kicks. For more, check out the Observer-Dispatch (Utica).
Class D championship game: Sunday, 12:30 p.m. on Faller turf field
For the 2011 version of this preview, click this link.
For the latest, you can always check out my Twitter page: @THR_Montgomery. I’ve also got some recent highlights on YouTube if you’re hoping to get a sense of what the Faller Field TurfField looks like: http://www.youtube.com/user/williamemontgomery