ONEONTA – It’s hard to win sectional titles.
Unbeaten and top-seeded Margaretville discovered that Saturday afternoon in the Section Four Class D boys soccer final at the Wright National Soccer Campus.
The Blue Devils (18-0) needed three goals by Matt Van Valkenburg, the decisive one coming 2 minutes, 53 seconds into the second overtime, to beat a game squad from Davenport, 3-2, to win its first sectional title since 2009.
“We knew they were going to be tough,” said Margaretville coach Jeremey Marks, whose squad downed fellow Delaware League Upper Division member Davenport, 3-0, on Sept. 10.
The teams played 64 ½ minutes of scoreless soccer before breaking out to score four goals in a 10-minute span late in the second half.
The third-seeded Wildcats (14-4) were six minutes away from sectional title. They took a 2-1 lead with 10:40 remaining in the second half when Paul Clark scored off of a direct kick by Kyle Moorby into the goal.
So a Margaretville squad that rarely trailed all season found itself down a goal for the second time in four minutes. As for the Davenport lead, it was forged without the help of standout forward Michael Libby, whose arm was in a sling from an injury suffered in Wednesday’s 2-1 semifinal victory over No. 2 Cherry Valley-Springfield.
But the Blue Devils responded.
They set up for a corner kick with six minutes remaining. The Blue Devils’ first goal, which tied the score at 1 with 11:37 left in regulation, came on a corner kick.
So did their second.
Roberto Sarabia and Van Valkenburg collaborated on both goals, with the athletic Van Valkenburg heading in both services. The latter came with 5:56 to go in the second half.
“There was a lot of pushing and pulling on both those goals,” Davenport coach Deb Moorby said. “We just didn’t get any call going our way.”