LIVERPOOL — Margaretville’s undefeated boys soccer season ended Saturday with a 1-0 loss to Watertown-Immaculate Heart Central in a Class D state quarterfinal at Liverpool High.
Jake Fusilli converted a pass from Austin Renzi with 14 minutes, 19 seconds left in the opening half, and the Section Three champion Cavaliers (16-3-1) held on to earn a state-semifinal berth opposite Section Five’s Jasper-Troupsburg at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Middletown High.
At the same time, Watertown denied the Delaware League and Section Four Class D champion Blue Devils (18-1) their first state-tournament victory in program history.
Margaretville went on the offensive early, getting a close-range bicycle-kick shot by Roberto Sarabia that sailed over the crossbar. But the difference between the teams may have come before they stepped onto the turf field Saturday.
While Margaretville did most of its damage against area Class D programs this season, Cavaliers coach Mary Guyette said her team honed its skills in the A Division of Section Three’s Frontier League. That division includes Class A and Class B programs such as Watertown, Indian River and Carthage.
That could be why the Blue Devils were hounded virtually every time they touched the ball, with a foot poke here, a sliding tackle there, and even the occasional leaping header. In the end, Watertown ended up with its third straight shutout victory over a previously undefeated program. The Indians advanced to the state tournament with a 3-0 sectional semifinal win over Copenhagen and a 2-0 defeat of Poland in the Section Three title game.
“Had we been able to tie it up in the first half, it might have been a different game in the second,” Margaretville coach Jeremey Marks said. “But we just couldn’t match their overall team speed. They just seemed to be able to beat us to every second ball, plus their keeper (Jarrod Smith) did a real nice, solid job.
“It’s difficult at times playing with some of the smaller schools in the Delaware League,” he continued. “We try to schedule some bigger, better programs like Delhi and Milford, and we opened the season with Onteora. At times, our practices are very good, very challenging and competitive. As I’ve said before, our youth and modified programs are great feeders to our varsity and the support we get from the community is excellent.”
Marvin Morales made six saves for Margaretville, which was outshot, 11-6. Cooper Reither and Kyle Short also were tagged with yellow cards in the loss as the Blue Devils struggled to find their rhythm throughout.
Short had several good runs and a key throw-in near the end of the match, and Smith saved a free kick by Sarabia with seconds to go.
Marks admitted he was disappointed with the outcome, but he applauded the efforts of his 10 seniors.
“We played hard,” he said. “I was especially proud of our effort in the last 15 minutes. We were still in the game right up to the end.”
Watertown 1, Margaretville 0
CLASS D STATE TOURNAMENT
Quarterfinal at Liverpool High
Margaretville 0 0 - 0
Watertown 1 0 - 1
4-Margaretville (18-1): None.
3-Watertown-Immaculate Heart Central: Jake Fusilli 1-0, Austin Renzi 0-1.
Shots-corner kicks: M 6-3; W 11-7.
Goalies: Marvin Morales (M) 6; Jarrod Smith (W) 5.