The Daily Star
---- — Staff Report
Luke Day finished with a goal and an assist assist to lead visiting Greene to a 2-1 victory over host Walton in the Midstate Athletic Conference boys soccer championship game at Townsend Elementary.
Brian Leone scored from 10 yards with 8 minutes, 49 seconds left in the first half to give the Trojans (16-0) a 1-0 lead. Luke Day earned an assist on the play, winning the ball at the 25-yard mark after a Walton goal kick and quickly passing ahead to Leone. That set up a one-on-one for Leone against Walton goalie Dylan Walley (11 saves).
“It was just a hard shot to the upper corner,” Walton coach Andy Gates said of Leone’s goal.
The Trojans found the upper corner again on another 10-yard shot with 15 minutes left. This time, Day scored unassisted to put Greene ahead, 2-0.
Conner Moriarity made nine saves in goal for Greene, but he couldn’t stop a penalty kick by Nate Pieper with 7:54 remaining.
Cameron Murphy drew the foul when he was held by a Greene defender inside the box on a Walton corner kick. Pieper beat Moriarity with a penalty kick to the upper-left corner, cutting the Warriors’ deficit in half.
“Most people I’ve ever seen at a soccer game,” Gates said of the crowd at the MAC final, which marked the first appearance in the league title game for his Warriors (11-5) in program history.
Walton and Greene are off until Wednesday, when the Section Four Class C Tournament begins. Walton drew the ninth seed and will visit No. 8 Unadilla Valley (9-5) of the MAC at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. The winner will advance to a sectional quarterfinal Oct. 26 at top-seeded Lansing (14-1) of the Interscholastic Athletic Conference.
“They’re a solid team with a good sweeper,” Gates said of the Storm, which fell, 3-0, to the Warriors on Sept. 26. Jared Beach, Chad Swartwout and Pieper each scored in the victory.
Greene is seeded second and will host No. 15 Candor (6-9) of the IAC in a first-round sectional game at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Greene 2, Walton 1
Greene 1 1 – 2
Walton 0 1 – 1
Greene (16-0): Luke Day 1-1, Brian Leone 1-0.
Walton (11-5): Nate Pieper 1-0.
Shots-corners: G 14-7; W 11-3.
Goalies: Conner Moriarty (G) 9; Dylan Walley (W) 11.