Though still kept out of the state Class A rankings, the East Syracuse Minoa boys soccer team had proven that it could, at the very least, make a Section III Class A title run later this month.
The Spartans, beginning a stretch of three road games in five days, engaged in another thrilling match last Monday at Central Square, but fought past the Redhawks 2-1, breaking out of a 1-1 tie caused by Logan Foster’s goal.
Despite 10 saves by Central Square goalie Robby Howley that kept it close, ESM moved out in front late, having seen Kyle Scalzo net his 16th goal of the season and Connor Clapin also find the net, with Conner Stark gaining an assist.
At Cortland Wednesday night, the Spartans handled the Purple Tigers 5-0, making it two shutouts since ESM prevailed 6-0 in the first meeting in mid-September. Scalazo added two more goals to run his total to 18, with Todd Durantini, Abdullah Alani and Safet Suljic also finding the net. Ty Mulcahy had two assists as single assists went to Sean Belcher, Eric Callahan and R.J. Bennink
Then ESM went to PSLA-Fowler on Friday, looking to avenge a 2-1 defeat to the Falcons on Sept. 19 and build upon its Salt City Athletic Conference Empire division lead. But it could do neither as, again, the Falcons prevailed, this time in a 3-2 overtime decision.
What made it more frustrating was that, trailing 1-0 at halftime, ESM rallied in the second half thanks to goals by Mulcahy and Ermin Almeic, with Scalzo and Suljic earning assists. PSLA-Fowler would score in the second half, too, and break the 2-2 tie in OT as Ridwan Surad had two of the Falcons’ three goals.
Jamesville-DeWitt was looking to rebound from getting swept by ESM in September, and the Red Rams got its October slate underway by hosting Auburn and pulling away in the second half to beat the Maroons 3-1.
Only up 1-0 at intermission, J-D leaned on Joe Bertone, who had the first two-goal outing of his varsity career, to deliver the big shots. Marcus Johnson added a goal as Liam O’Malley gained an assist. David Tyler was strong in the net, stopping 11 of the 12 Auburn shots he faced.
That good feeling didn’t last though, as J-D lost, 1-0, at Fulton on Saturday night. As so often passes in soccer, the Rams had a majority of the possession and chances, but Red Raiders goalie Matt Borrow recorded 11 saves, and got all the help he needed when Robert Salerno’s shot flew past Alex Carbacio in the second half. Nate Stuart had the assist.
Christian Brothers Academy won on Senior Night last Monday against Phoenix, holding off the Firebirds 2-1.
Both of the Brothers’ goals came in the first half from Dan Polhemus, with Ryan O’Connor and Mohamed Djibrilla earning assists. Even with Caleb Connolly’s second-half goal, Phoenix could not quite catch up, Rocco DeLorenzo earning seven saves in the CBA net.
Still at home Friday night, CBA welcomed Skaneateles, and earned one of its most exciting wins of the season, rallying past the Lakers in an OT classic that also ended 2-1.
Jeff Palmer’s unassisted goal in the first half produced a 1-0 Lakers advantage. Yet it could not get anything else past CBA goalie Matt Buck, who made nine saves and watched his team pull even in the second half on Tommy Daviau’s goal and prevail in the extra period when Polhemus converted.
Bishop Grimes won a tight 1-0 match over Faith Heritage last Tuesday at the CNY Family Sports Centre complex on Jones Road. It took Paul Kim’s second-half goal to break the deadlock and reward a Cobras defense that had held the Saints to just two shots all afternoon.
With a sectional playoff berth clinched, Grimes could relax and focus on Thursday s game at Cato-Meridian, which it won, 2-1, by moving in front early and getting another goal in the second half to match one from the Blue Devils’ Gavin Carvey.
Deng Mawien and Andrea Pallotta found the net for the Cobras, with Kim and Connor Alexander earning assists. The rest was done by a tough Grimes defense that did not blink, even though Matt Tarby had to make 15 saves.
A third win in the week came Saturday, Grimes blanking Tully 2-0 with a goal in each half plus 12 saves from Tarby against the Black Knights’ attackers. Mawien earned a goal, as did Joe Knapp, with Robert Mannion earning an assist.