Nov 07, 2006 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Twelve months ago, Colin Price was on the bench at SUNY-Cortland, still healing from a broken leg, unable to keep Christian Brothers Academy’s boys soccer team from falling to Fulton in the Section III Class A final.
In that same location, against those same Red Raiders, with the same high stakes, Price was an active participant in his own — and the team’s — redemption.
Price had a goal, and freshman Gale Agbossoumonde produced a hat trick, as CBA crushed Fulton, 5-0, in last Friday’s night’s championship game.
This was CBA’s first sectional title since 2001, when Class A schools included current AA teams and the Brothers beat Liverpool, 2-1, for that title.
In the journey to get back on top, CBA had taken a lot of bruises, and it had high aspirations in 2005 before Price’s injury derailed them.
With Price healed, all the pieces were in place — a frightening and potent attack, an athletic and stout defense, and Joe Krisch in the net to keep shots out.
By October, the Brothers were on top of the state Class A rankings, but all of that meant nothing unless it could start claiming championships in the regular manner that it did at the turn of the millennium (eight straight sectional titles from 1994 to 2001).
The last step to that goal was beating Fulton, a team with far less defensive strength than the one which used last year’s final as a steppingstone to a piece of the ’05 state Class A championship.
That was apparent when Gale, off a feed from L.J. Papaleo, scored to put CBA up, 1-0, before the game was six minutes old.
For the rest of the first half, the Brothers patiently worked for more chances, but could not add to that lead. Meanwhile, Fulton had its share of looks, but Ben Ashenburg, Pat Kenville, Zack Palmieri, Brian Messe and Justin White teamed up to shut the Raiders down, and Krisch would make eight saves.
In the 52nd minute, the dam began to break, as Mawuena Agbossoumonde (Gale’s older brother) put in a shot off an odd angle that scraped the crossbar and found the net.
Gale returned in the 64th minute to offer his own bit of magic, escaping a trap and dribbling around two Fulton defenders before blasting a shot past John Czeck to make it 3-0.
In the late going, Gale would score a third time for the hat trick, and Price, in a fitting coda, got his own goal to finish things off.
Prior to this, in yet another case of a game that took a while to crank up, the Brothers broke out of a stalemate with no. 5 seed Cortland in last Tuesday’s Class A semifinal at Chittenango, then held on to beat the Purple Tigers 3-2.
Neither side would budge in the first half, but CBA charged out after the break, building a quick 2-0 lead as Papaleo and Price both put home goals.
Cortland would not go away, though, as Joel White and Luke Starmer scored, meaning that Gale’s late tally would prove to be the game-winner. Both Price and Gale earned assists.
CBA plays Wednesday against Section II champion Burnt Hills at Chittenango High School, hoping to advance to a regional final on the weekend. Two victories would put the Brothers in next weekend’s state final four in Oneonta.