After a surprising victory over Vestal for the Section 4 Class A boys soccer title, Maine-Endwell will open its state title quest against a foe whose entry into the state playoffs was even more unexpected.
M-E will face New Paltz, which upset four-time defending champion Goshen in the Section 4 Class A final, in a state first-round contest at 2 p.m. today at Middletown High School.
The game is the opener of a doubleheader at Middletown, with Corning squaring off against Section 9’s Washingtonville in a Class AA first-round game at 4. If M-E and/or Corning win, they would face the Section 1 representative Monday at the Wright National Soccer Complex in Oneonta in a quarterfinal game.
M-E (11-4-1) defeated Vestal, 1-0, Saturday in Oneonta, with Luke Osovski’s late first-half goal and goalie Tanner Cosens’ five-save effort helping the Spartans reverse earlier-season 4-0 and 3-1 losses to the Golden Bears.
“We were happy to go in with people thinking that we couldn’t beat them,” M-E coach Chris Riley said. “We felt we had nothing to lose, it was a win-win situation. Some people forgot that we finished second in our division. We were the defending class champions, and we went 11-4-1, if it was very quietly.”
M-E will have the advantage in state playoff experience over New Paltz (10-3-1), which upended Goshen, 2-0, behind a pair of goals by Will Cymbal to earn its first state playoff berth.
A sizeable number of players on M-E’s roster was part of the Spartans’ run to the Class A state title game a year ago, one that ended with a 2-0 loss to Section 8’s Jericho.
“The boys know what it takes, they know the competition, and they have some unfinished business,” Riley said. “We have a tough road, with an extra game this year, but we’re ready for the challenge.”
While M-E and Corning play today, there will be a boys soccer tripleheader Saturday at Norwich High School involving Susquehanna Valley (Class B), Lansing (Class C) and Marathon (Class D) in quarterfinal play against Section 3 opponents.
SV (12-2), playing its first state playoff game in 12 years, will meet Westhill (19-0) at 1 p.m.
That will be preceded by Marathon’s 11 a.m. contest against Poland (17-0-3). Lansing squares off against Fabius-Pompey at 3.
Also on Saturday, Unatego and Franklin head to Fulton High School for state girls soccer quarterfinal games against Section 3 foes.
Unatego meets Sauquoit Valley at 1 in a Class C quarterfinal, followed at 3 by Franklin’s Class D quarterfinal against Poland.