Bryan Wager scored the game-winning goal in overtime to lift No. 5 Honeoye Falls-Lima 2-1 over No. 2 Pittsford Sutherland for its second Section V Class A2 boys soccer championship is as many years on Friday evening in Spencerport.
“Oh, it’s crazy, it’s crazy,” Wager said of the win. “Getting to the finals two years in a row is an accomplishment. But this year, doing it again after losing all those seniors (last year), I can’t say enough good things about this team.”
Wager, who leads the Cougars (10-6-2) with 20 goals this season, opened the scoring 13 minutes into the game to give his team a 1-0 lead. He took the shot from about 16 yards out and finessed it toward the far-post for the goal.
HF-L controlled most of the remainder of the game following the goal and even missed a number of opportunities to put it further ahead. Pittsford Sutherland had plenty of chances, including numerous through balls to forward Jack Ramsager, but was unable to net them.
Then with 57 seconds remaining in the game, Sutherland’s (11-4-3) Matt Kaiser did something that the Cougars had seen before in the regular season: Kaiser buried a shot from outside the 18-yard box over goalie James Bonadonna to tie the game, 1-1.
Earlier this month, Kaiser scored a similar goal, but that one was to lift his team over HF-L in overtime.
The goal really was something special. Bonadonna even went as far as to say the goal was “the best shot I’ve ever seen in my life.”
In overtime, both teams exchanged chances but when midfielder Alex Ptucha, who was selected All-Greater Rochester and second-team All-State in 2014, carried the ball down the left side and crossed the ball to the center of the box, Wager knew he had an opportunity to put the game away.
“Ptucha always breaks through like that,” Wager said. “He uses pace on that sideline. He plays perfect balls over the middle, all I had to do was be there.”
Heading into the match, HF-L head coach Mike Merrill said he knew that his squad and Sutherland’s were the best in the tournament and that, despite losing twice to the Knights in the regular season, he knew his team could walk away champions again.
And while HF-L was relishing in the win, Merrill knows the Cougars face a “really good” Greece Athena team on Tuesday. But, in the meantime, he and his team will soak it all in.
“We’ll definitely celebrate tonight,” Merrill said. “Sectional championships are a great thing.”