GLOVERSVILLE, NY (NEWS10) — The Averill Park and Queensbury boys soccer teams opened up their regular seasons against each other back on Sep. 2, playing to a 2-2 draw. The rematch Wednesday night proved to be another evenly played battle.
The two sides met in the Section II, Class A semi-finals at Gloversville High School, and the three seed, A-P, pulled out a 1-0 victory after besting the two-seeded Spartans 4-3 on penalty kicks.
110 minutes of back-and-forth action wasn’t enough time to decide a winner, so a trip to the championship game came down to 12 penalty kicks.
After 11 were in the books, the score was unsurprisingly all square at three goals. The game-deciding shot came down to Averill Park’s senior midfielder Hayden Kiehl, who buried a shot top shelf, moving his team on to Tuesday’s title match.
Warriors head coach Gary Pascucci commended the will of his team, and their ability to eek out a win against a worthy opponent.
“If you looked at our season, the regular season, we tied a few games that we were out-possessed, and it game down to heart,” said Pascucci. “And I think these guys are very athletic, and they play hard, and they played with their heart.”
When asked about the primary contributing factors to his squad’s victory, Pascucci gave a lot of the credit to his senior goalkeeper, Brady Mazzeo, who withstood a number of Queensbury shots on goal, and delivered with timely saves all night.
“Brady, we rely on him in goal sometimes, and tonight’s no different,” said Pascucci. “He made some great saves in regulation, and then he came through with the penalty kicks, so I think it started with him.”
Mazzeo joked after the game about his saves during the penalty kicks, admitting he had a little luck on his side on a number of stops.
“To be honest, I just guessed,” said Mazzeo. “It’s really just lucky. At the end when (Queensbury’s) goalie decided to do a penalty kick…it got intense. It was good, though; it was fun.”
Averill Park now prepares for a date with top-seeded Columbia. That game will be played at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at Colonie High School.