Mount Academy in state title game
Eagles advance by defeating Charles Finney on penalty kicks in Class D semis
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.”
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.
Mount Academy’s Jaden Rogers heads up field with the ball during Saturday’s game.