Nov 06, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
From the spectacular playmaking of Connor Lunduski to a defense that turns everything away, the Baldwinsville boys soccer team had all part of its game in working order – and that translated into yet another Section III Class AA championship.
The Bees’ sixth sectional title in seven years was earned Tuesday night, at Liverpool High School Stadium, where early goals by Lunduski and Nick Gates stood up and led to a 2-0 shutout over Fayetteville-Manlius.
As his players accepted one more sectional banner, B’ville head coach Tim Scheemaker said that this particular team transcended possible weak spots with tremendous chemistry.
“We didn’t have the best players, but we had the best team” said Scheemaker. “They have really worked well with each other.”
And that good work was best demonstrated on the defensive side of the ball. In three playoff matches – against West Genesee, Liverpool and finally F-M – the Bees did not allow a goal. Dating back to the regular season, B’ville has shut out its last six opponents.
Senior Braden Miles, who starts on the back line with fellow senior Ryan Mulligan, plus juniors Erik Ferrari and Connor Ross, said that good communication is the key to strong defense. The goalie that works behind that back line, junior Nick Lindovski, has done his part, too, with key stops throughout the post-season.
Scheemaker said the defense was made more effective by a late-season change in formation that included more involvement for Lunduski, a midfielder.
Of course, it also helped the Bees’ cause that Lunudski has a knack for big plays. As it turned out, his late-game goal that beat Liverpool in the AA semifinals was just the beginning.
Just 45 seconds into the title game against F-M (their sixth sectional finals encounter in the last nine years), Lunduski, picking up the rebound of his corner kick, hit a 20-yard shot that started outside the right post, and then curled until it had found the top right corner of the net, a shot that Hornets goalie Ben Obrist had no chance to stop.
Less than 12 minutes later, B’ville had doubled its margin, as Jeff Mahar, free on the right side, passed to the middle, where Gates sent a header past Obrist.
The Bees would not score again, but would not need to. F-M sent waves of attacks throughout the night, but B’ville’s defenders never flinched, constantly getting their bodies in front of potential shots and forcing others off target.
And this brings the Bees another chance at its first-ever state Class AA title. On Saturday, B’ville (15-3-1) will face Section II champion Guilderland in the regional finals, with a berth in the Nov. 16-17 state final four in Middletown on the line.