COLONIE — Monday’s all-Patroon Conference regional-appearance deciding playoff game between the Class C champion Maple Hill Wildcats and CC champions Greenville was more than just a rivalry game between two bitter foes. It was literally a decider of life and death for both teams 2017 campaigns.
The prior two postseason meetings between the programs went to Greenville, in both the 2014 and 2015 Sectional semifinals. But the Wildcats got their revenge in the twenty-second minute of the second half, off a self-deprecating goal from the Spartans.
Maple Hill senior midfielder Christian Beber sent a corner kick into the goalie box that fellow senior Alec Yager headed off a Greenville player and into the net. Neither team scored in the remaining 18 minutes and three seconds.
In the loss, Greenville outshot the Wildcats 15-4. Maple hill goalkeeper Lucas Bourdeau had eight saves and Spartans’ counterpart John Gergen had four.
The Wildcats (15-3-3) have made it through the Section II tournament without allowing a single goal, outscoring opponents 12-0. They now advance to the final round of the New York State regional tournament, playing either Section X St. Lawrence or Section VII Lake Placid on Saturday at Colonie High School at 11 a.m.
A win will put Maple Hill the state final four for the first time since 2011 when the Wildcats lost in the state championship game to Section XI Port Jefferson.
Last year, the Wildcats were eliminated in the final round of regionals, falling to Section X Potsdam 2-1 in overtime.