Fre it ain't so: Breen kicks Waterford to CHVL regular season title
WATERFORD — The Waterford-Halfmoon High School boys soccer team had plenty of chances Wednesday afternoon – it outshoot New Lebanon, 13-4 - but the Fordians needed only one goal to wrap up their second straight Central Hudson Valley League regular season title.
Fre Breen corralled the ball off a header by Zac Lennon and beat New Lebanon goalkeeper Ben Cassavaugh to the far post. The ball bounced off it and into the net for the first goal of the game with 15 minutes remaining in regulation, standing as the game-winning goal in a 1-0 victory at Waterford High School.
“To be honest, I didn’t see the goal, I saw the shot,” said Breen, pictured below, a junior striker. “I saw the goalie coming out toward me and I saw the far post open so I just shot it while I was rolling down. It was a good goal.”
Waterford (12-0-0, 13-2-0), the No. 13 ranked Class C team in New York State, finished two games ahead of New Lebanon (10-2-0, 12-3-0), the No. 12 Class D team in New York, in the CHVL standings. The Fordians had posted a 3-2 victory at New Lebanon earlier this season.
It was the second consecutive regular season title for the Fordians and the second since the school rejoined the CHVL about a decade ago.
About 10 minutes into Wednesday’s game, Waterford’s David Lee hit the left post with a shot. Just minutes after that, Waterford’s Zac Lennon hit the crossbar. Later, Joe Chiera missed the net wide right on a direct kick, capping a scoreless half that didn’t fail for scoring opportunities.
“We played really well in the first half and we dominated possession of the game and we knew if we kept playing like that, we’d put one in the back of the net,” said Lennon, pictured below, a senior forward. “Things worked out.”
In the second half, Cory Charbonneau barely cleared the crossbar with a high blast five minutes in. Lee also missed just high on a direct kick and New Lebanon’s Bryan Potter nearly headed the ball into his own net, leading to a Waterford corner kick that did not create a scoring chance.
“They’re a great bunch of kids,” said Waterford head coach Fred Engelmann. “They’re really pretty loosey-goosey as far as playing and not getting too crazy on things. So it’s a good attitude that this team has.”
Goalkeeper Joe Hilton made four saves in net to record his ninth shutout of the season.
Waterford plays a final non-league game against Hoosick Falls on Saturday before they learn their fate in the Section II Class C tournament when brackets are released Tuesday.
Defending Section II Class C and CC/C playoff champions, Waterford advanced to the New York State Final Four a season ago. With seven starters returning from that squad – and 15 seniors currently on the roster - the Fordians are hoping the 2010 postseason will be just as enjoyable, if not one last hurrah for this group of players, many of whom have been playing together since their elementary school days.
“It feels good. We take it one step at a time,” said Lennon. “First it’s the league, then we go to sectionals and hopefully we can do that again and make it back to states again. We’ll see how it works out.”
“It just gets you fired up for sectionals,” said Breen. “We’re just getting ready right now. We’re 12-0 and we’re ready to go for sectionals. I’m fired up. I’m ready.”
Waterford (12-0-0, 13-2-0) 0 1 — 1
Scoring: W: Breen 1-0.
Goalie saves: NL: Cassavaugh, 10. W: Hilton, 4.
Corner kicks: NL: 0. W: 3.
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