Colonie, NY — “Overtime is a great way to win, but it’s a terrible way to lose,” Maple Hill Boys Varsity Soccer coach Dan Gillespie told a handful of parents following the Wildcat’s 2-1 loss to Potsdam in the Class C Regional Final, Saturday at Colonie High School.
The Wildcats (20-0-1) had entered the game as heavy favorites, in comparison to Potsdam’s 9-6 record.
“All the pressure was on them in this game. They were expected to win,” said Potsdam forward Daniel Caamano. “We told the boys if they work hard and put in 100 percent anything can happen, its soccer.” The senior delivered the game winner just seconds into overtime.
After a scoreless first half, it wasn’t until 23 minutes into the final 40 minutes of regulation that either team got on the board. It would be Maple Hill junior Nick Butler, who put the Wildcats on top 1-0.
“I was in disbelief when I made it. I guaranteed we were going to win after that,” said Butler, whose goal was the first of his career at the Varsity level.
In an early similar fashion at the Sectional championship game, just minutes after the Wildcats scored, their opponents tied it up.
With seven minutes remaining Jacob Keleher scored to force overtime.
“We won our Sectional in OT and had just scored, so the pressure was again all on them,” said Keleher. “The Playoffs are an entirely new season, and we just jumped on that.”
For Maple Hill, the loss comes as their first in an otherwise decorated season, given that they lost five dominant seniors.
“We made two defensive mistakes today that just hurt us,” said Gillespie. “Not many teams can win 20 games in a year. To get to this point, it’s a painful day, but a memorable one.”
The Wildcats will now pick up the pieces and get ready for winter sports, with tryouts and practices starting Monday.
With this win, Potsdam advances to the State tournament next weekend in Middletown. They will play the winner of North Salem and Seward, on Saturday at 9:15 a.m.