By Rob Potter
CENTRAL VALLEY October 31, 2003 It took awhile, but the Tri-Valley and Tuxedo boys soccer teams finally found a field on which to play Tuesdays Section IX Class C semifinal match.
The contest was originally slated to be hosted by Tuxedo, the second-seeded team in the Class C tournament. But Tuxedo soccer field was deemed unplayable due to the heavy rain that hit the area on Monday.
So the game was moved to Monroe-Woodbury High School. After assessing the conditions of two different soccer fields at Monroe-Woodbury, the players, coaches, officials and fans moved to a third field just before the 2 p.m. start time.
Despite the sloppy, muddy turf, the two squads played with a great deal of determination and effort as a berth in the sectional final was on the line.
Tuxedo grabbed a 5-0 lead and went on to record a 6-2 victory over third-seeded T-V. With the win, the Tornadoes advanced to the Section IX Class C championship match versus top-seeded Rhinebeck. That contest was scheduled to be held yesterday, weather permitting.
Tuxedo (8-9-1) wasted little time in grabbing the momentum versus the Bears. Just over four minutes into the game, Tornado forward Ben Baker scored on a low shot to give Tuxedo a 1-0 lead. Heli Minano assisted on the goal.
Minano scored a goal of his own at the 22:54 mark thanks to an assist by Tyler Phillips.
The Tornadoes extended their advantage to 3-0 about 12 minutes later when Jorge Minano sent a shot past T-V goalie Ryan Briggs. Jason Santoianni assisted on the goal.
Tuxedo held that 3-0 lead at halftime and quickly expanded it when play began in the second half. Heli Minano beat a couple of Bear defenders and sent a low shot into the far corner of the net at the 4:52 mark.
A few minutes later, a crowd of players gathered in the T-V goal box as Tuxedo looked to score again. When the ball flew into the air, Tornado forward Mike Monroe was able to head the ball into the Bears goal cage to give his team a 5-0 lead.
Down by five goals with just over 30 minutes to play, T-V (9-8-1) responded with a pair of scores.
About five minutes after Monroes goal, Bear forward Chris Kenney gained control of the ball near midfield. He then deftly dribbled through a few Tuxedo players and sent a low shot past Tornado goalie Jessie Meekins and into the corner of the net.
Approximately 10 minutes later, T-Vs Jonathan Waxman sent a low shot past Meekins to cut the Tuxedo lead to 5-2 and give the Bears some momentum.
But at the 27:48 mark, Phillips scored for Tuxedo to make it a four-goal game.
We certainly battled back, T-V Coach Dave Moore said. I think they handled the field conditions a little better then we did. And I thought we needed to get a little more pressure on their goalie in the first half.
Tuesdays match featured more offense than the last time T-V and Tuxedo met, which was in an OCIAA Division IV game on October 8 in Tuxedo. That contest ended in a 2-2 tie following two overtime periods.
Despite the disappointing end to the 2003 season, Moore noted that the positives definitely outweighed the negatives for the Bears.
It was the best season weve ever had, Moore said. This was only the second time we qualified for sectionals since the school opened.
Briggs was credited with 21 saves in the contest, while Meekins made six saves.
I think we got a little complacent once we got out to that 5-0 lead, Tuxedo Coach Dave Powers said. We have tendency to do that.
Powers also credited the Bears for their performance.
Number 14 [Kenney] did a nice job going downfield and scoring their first goal, he said. Tri-Valley has a lot of team speed and I think the conditions kind of slowed them down today.
T-V seniors who played their final scholastic match on Tuesday included Briggs, Zach Bright, Matt Calabrese, John Garigliano, Martin Henry-Lester and Kenney.