By Ted Waddell
NEWBURGH November 4, 2003 The Section IX Class D boys soccer title match was one of the most intensely played games in recent memory.
It was a Saturday afternoon contest that had fans at Newburghs Recreation Park screaming for more as it went into overtime.
The game between The Family School Foundation Falcons and the Spartans of S.S. Seward was tied 1-1 at the end of regulation play.
The Spartans opening the scoring at 17:00 of the first half on a shot by Jonathan Harter.
At the 18:41 mark in the second half, the Family Schools Miles Farkas registered a goal to even up the score at 1-1. The goal was the 30th that Farkas scored this season.
After the 80 minutes of regulation play, the game went into two 10- minute overtime periods. It was still dead even at the end of the first OT period.
Then at 6:08 in sudden victory overtime, it was all over as Chris Dagele beat Family School goalie Paul Cassidy on an assist by James McAteer.
In the wake of making a series of spectacular saves during the hard- fought soccer match, Cassidy made a diving attempt at stopping the ball, only to have a last little bit of momentum on the shot enable it to slip through his gloves and into the net.
And suddenly the sudden victory overtime was over as the Spartans piled up in front of the Falcons goal, overjoyed with a 2-1 win in double overtime.
Seward (16-3) will face the Section I champion in a state tournament opening round game later this week. Family ended its season with a 14-5 record.
In one of those moments that brings out the glory of high school sports, Cassidy was overcome by emotion inside the net and several of his teammates rushed into the goal cage to console him after the heartbreaking loss.
The Family School kids have picked it [up] every time weve played since we beat em 8-0 the first game this year, said S.S. Seward Coach Bill Steele.
Family School Coach Bill Musgrove had a hard time talking after the game, as he had shouted himself virtually speechless during the contest.
My guys left everything they had on the field, and so did Florida, he said. The second half of the game was the best soccer weve ever played.
Musgrove said that 16 of 19 booters on this seasons squad had never played together before. The only three returnees from the 2002 squad were Cassidy, center midfielder Mike OBrien and fullback Matthew Mantone.
It was a fantastic season, Musgrove said.