By Coach Matt Finn, ECS Boys’ Soccer
It won’t be the cold and the wind that the Boys Soccer team will remember from last Friday night’s game at Hamburg against North Collins. It won’t be the scoreless 75 minutes of back and forth play either. It will be the sight of the soccer ball hitting the back of the net fired by senior Connor Greene with 4:25 left in regulation on the scoreboard with a score of 0-0.
It was at that moment, the Ellicottville Eagles finally felt like the elusive “Blue Patch” Section VI Class D Championship title could belong to them, and them only.
When a North Collins player went down with an injury in the goal area, it gave the Ellicottville Eagles time to take it in and regain composure, but it also gave the North Collins Eagles time to settle down and plan to retaliate with a goal.
With only 41 seconds left in the game, four North Collins players were on a breakaway with only Jeremy Bordini between them and a game-tying goal. A goal that would have sent the two teams into an overtime yet again, for the fourth time in five years for the same title game. An amazing save on the ground at the bottom left of the goal, was only visible after the players cleared away from the scene.
This was it — the Ellicottville Eagles were going to walk away as the sole title winners, unlike years 2010 and 2011 when they shared the title with North Collins, but were unable to advance after shootouts determined who would advance.
For anyone who has followed this team this year, it has been an emotional yet exciting year. With a new league to play in that included larger schools like Olean, Allegany-Limestone and Randolph, this year the boys played up to that level, and they did it well. The record alone doesn’t show the team play and skill these boys have demonstrated. After a very frustrating 4-0 loss to Olean in September, October brought an overtime game that was hard fought, with Ellicottville the winner up until the very end. This group played as a team, and it has been their collective efforts and energy that has brought them success.
On Friday, Nov. 8 at 5 p.m., the Boys Ellicottville Eagles can be found at Eastridge High School in Rochester competing in their first-ever appearance in the Far West Regional game in the history of Ellicottville Eagle Soccer against Jasper-Troupsburg.
We wish them the best of luck and will be happy to watch this quality group of young men in any weather that Mother Nature decides to dish out.