East Syracuse At least through one round, the East Syracuse-Minoa boys soccer team’s quest for back-to-back Section III Class A titles remains alive.
Given the no. 4 seed for the sectional tournament (similar to the no. 5 seed it had a year ago), ESM hosted no. 5 seed New Hartford Thursday night in what proved to be a tense, exciting Class A quarterfinal.
One Spartan side was guaranteed to make it to the semifinals – and it turned out to be ESM, who would have to go to overtime to make it past New Hartford 2-1.
Possessing the same 11-4-1 record that ESM earned in the regular season, New Hartford would get on the board in the first half thanks to David Carter’s goal, assisted by Ben Gilroy.
However, Sam Baadani converted for the hosts, and the two sides went to halftime at 1-1. They would stay that way through the entire second half, plus the first of two 15-minute sudden-death overtime periods, a season hanging in the balance.
Finally, in the second OT ESM pushed, and Sam Lewis, open in front of the net, poked a shot past New Hartford goalkeeper Richard Bates to win it. Prior to that, Bates had made six saves, two less than ESM counterpart Cameron Schiavone.
Now the Spartans will attempt to match what it did in 2011 – namely, knock off the top seed in the semifinal round. In this case, it’s Fowler (15-1-1), who beat Carthage 2-0 in its quarterfinal. The winner here gets CBA or Whitesboro in the championship game late next week.