Oct 26, 2012 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Not since 2006 had anyone following the Baldwinsville boys soccer team witnessed the scene played out on the grass at Pelcher-Arcaro Stadium on Thursday night.
On one end, the Bees were stunned, crestfallen, its season having reached an abrupt end. On the other end, the opposition was celebrating a victory.
For the first time in six years, B’ville will not claim the Section III Class AA championship. Utica Proctor saw to that, rallying from an early deficit to beat the Bees 2-1 in the sectional quarterfinals.
Through five season, and 15 consecutive sectional playoff games, B’ville had managed to avoid all the pitfalls and go onward, leading to a string of titles, mostly surviving in close contests decided by a single goal, or in overtime, or by the means of a penalty-kick shoot-out.
Such a run of good fortune is difficult to maintain, but the Bees, with the no. 4 seed in the 2012 sectional tournament, hoped to do so against no. 5 seed Proctor, who had knocked off B’ville by that same 2-1 margin on Oct. 13.
At first, the rematch appeared to head in the Bees’ direction. Just 3:54 into the game, B’ville, aggressive at the outset, earned a corner kick, worked to perfection when Trevor Pauldine hit the ball to the middle and Sean Stewart headed it into the net.
But that would be B’ville’s last goal of the season. Once Proctor prevented an immediate follow-up, it started to pick up its own attack, using speed and skill to force the Bees’ defenders into a scrambling mode.
That pressure paid off in the 15th minute when, from the left side, the Raiders’ Moulid Somow slid a low, hard shot past Bees goalie Chris Spaulding to tie it, 1-1.
It would remain that way the rest of the half, the action picking up in the last 90 seconds as both sides missed chances to move in front, including Connor Lunduski’s hard shot that got stopped.
The second half settled into the same pattern as the first, neither side really taking control. That suited Proctor fine as it probed for a chance to move out in front.
At nearly the same spot in the half as when it converted in the first frame, Somow, taking a pass from Yusuf Maalim on the right side, charged up the middle and, when Spaulding rushed to meet the play, Somow flicked the ball past him for the go-ahead goal.
Over the remaining 26-plus minutes, B’ville steadily increased the pace, but could not solve a tough Raiders back line, forced into long, low-percentage shots that fell well off target.
Right up to the end, though, the Bees battled, even getting a corner kick in the waning seconds that was stuffed just as the horn sounded.
So ended an 11-5-1 season where B’ville, perhaps lacking the depth and deep talent pool of seasons past, still managed a share of the CNY Counties League National division regular-season title, even though, this time around, the post-season magic eluded them.
However, head coach Tim Scheemaker will see just five seniors – Stewart, Pauldine, James Goodridge, Evan Lavelle and Nate Wagner – depart. Everyone else could come back in 2013, ready to perhaps start another title streak.