Placed at no. 4 in the state Class B rankings, the Westhill boys soccer team wanted to preserve that spot as well as its spotless 2013 regular-season record.
Yet both of those titles were put in jeopardy during Saturday’s non-league game against New Hartford – and in the end, the Warriors’ quest for a second straight unbeaten regular season ended with a 2-1 overtime defeat to the Spartans.
A solid Class A squad, New Hartford kept Westhill off the board in a 0-0 first half. And even when Alex Skeele notched an unassisted goal in the second half, Mike Bates answered for New Hartford, and regulation ended 1-1.
During the first OT period, the Spartans organized an attack, and it was Gi-Yeon Han breaking open in front of the net, calmly slipping the shot past Chris Burrows for the game-winner. Burrows, in defeat, recorded seven saves.
Before all this, in last Tuesday night’s visit to Solvay, a diverse, relentless Warrior attack led to a 5-0 shutout of the Bearcats.
Westhill kept probing, even after it took a 3-0 halftime lead, and overcame the nine combined saves of Joe Reale and Corey Rolniice. Jake Etoll scored twice, while Barak BenYehuda and Mike Paraszczak each got one goal and one assist. Brian Turan got credit for the other goal as Mike McKnight earned a pair of assists.
Solvay would have a wild contest with Cortland on Thursday night, trading blows throughout the night before settling for a 4-4 draw with the Purple Tigers.
They were tied, 1-1, at halftime, and Jake Mrowinski kept blowing through Cortland’s defense, earning a three-goal hat trick and assisting on the other goal, by Maid Kahrimanovic. Arsen Bagiryan and Lucas Purce earned assists.
But the Purple Tigers kept answering thanks to Chris Masilla-Engst’s own hat trick, as he scored three times and Justin Prentice also found the net. Neither side would convert in overtime, though, as Reale piled up a season-high 24 saves.