Mount Academy in state ti­tle game

Ea­gles ad­vance by de­feat­ing Charles Fin­ney on penalty kicks in Class D semis

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Brian Hu­bert bhu­bert@free­manon­line.com

Mount Academy will re­turn to the Class D Boys soc­cer ti­tle game af­ter de­feat­ing Charles Fin­ney School 4-1 in penalty kicks on Satur­day.

The Ea­gles (13-3) will face the win­ner of Satur­day night’s semi­fi­nal matchup be­tween Sec­tion 4’s Marathon and Sec­tion 7’s Chazy as they seek sole own­er­ship of the state ti­tle for the first time. The cham­pi­onship game is sched­uled for Sun­day, Nov. 11, at 4:30 p.m. at Middletown High School’s Faller Field.

If Chazy ad­vances, Sun­day’s con­test will be a re­match of last year’s fi­nal in which the Mount played Chazy to a 1-1 draw af­ter two over­time pe­ri­ods to share the Class D state ti­tle.

The fi­nal does not go to penalty kicks if the score re­mains tied at the end of the over­time pe­ri­ods.

The Ea­gles are no stranger to the fi­nal four, hav­ing made it at least this far three times in the pro­gram’s five year his­tory.

Aaron Wald­ner buried the win­ning penalty kick af­ter Everett But­ton, Davis Ma­son and Pre­ston But­ton con­verted all of the Ea­gles’ first three at­tempts.

Stu­art Boller closed the door on Fin­ney, keeping its first two penalty at­tempts out of

the net. A third shot went over the bar. Fin­ney ended up con­vert­ing just one at­tempt.

“Stu­art was well pre­pared for de­fense of the goal,” Ge­orge Viz­vary, the tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor for the Mount Academy team, said.

As­sis­tant Coach John Huleatt re­ferred to Viz­vary, a long­time leg­endary coach, as “the god­fa­ther of coach­ing.”

Viz­vary said the mount came into the match car­ry­ing a lot of weight af­ter shar­ing last year’s state cham­pi­onship.

“We had to match this

par­tic­u­lar po­si­tion and the boys had to be pre­pared, and they were pre­pared, men­tally and phys­i­cally,” Viz­vary said. “They were ready to win, and they are ready to win to­mor­row.”

Af­ter a score­less first half, Em­manuel Rub­ingu got Fin­ney on the board in the open­ing min­utes of the sec­ond half off a feed from Kee­gan Ocorr.

But the Ea­gles an­swered back five min­utes later when Everett But­ton de­posited a Ben­son Arnold as­sist for the equal­izer.

Ben­son Arnold later con­verted a feed from Pre­ston But­ton with 18 min­utes left in reg­u­la­tion to give the Mount a 2-1 ad­van­tage.

But Ian Lau an­swered

back with 10 min­utes to play, taking a vol­ley out of the the air to knot the score at 2-2, where it would re­main through the end of reg­u­la­tion, forc­ing sud­den death over­time.

Both teams found chances in the first 15-minute over­time pe­riod, but nei­ther couldn’t con­vert them. And by the sec­ond half, both squads started to show the ef­fects of a long match played in the cold.

“This time the length of the game, the wind and cold took ef­fect on both of the teams,” Viz­vary said. “It’s phys­i­cally hard to play two times 15 min­utes.”

Viz­vary added that he was happy Mount Academy es­caped with­out any

se­ri­ous in­juries which have side­lined key play­ers like Con­nor Huleatt who was in­jured in the Mount’s 2-0 win over Fort Ann in last Satur­day’s re­gional fi­nal while scor­ing the Ea­gles’ sec­ond goal and will not be avail­able Sun­day.

Boller fin­ished the match with five saves, while Stephan Folk­erts had eight stops for (20-3) Fin­ney.

“I’m very happy we played well,” Viz­vary said. “We are go­ing for the big­gie to­mor­row.”

John Huleatt was also impressed with Satur­day’s re­sult and is look­ing for­ward to to­mor­row.

“It was a great bat­tle,” Huleatt said. “We’ll see what we have left in the tank.”

PHOTO PRO­VIDED

Mount Academy’s Everett But­ton, in blue and wear­ing No. 4, scores the Ea­gles’ first goal in the sec­ond half of Satur­day’s Class D semi­fi­nal game in Marl­boro, N.Y.

PHOTO PRO­VIDED

Mount Academy’s Jaden Rogers heads up field with the ball dur­ing Satur­day’s game.

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