Leading off today:
Well, that's a heck of a time to learn the rule.
Notre Dame Academy was awarded a forfeit victory in Wednesday's CHSAA girls Class AA Archdiocesan semifinal after it was determined St. Joseph Hill used an ineligible player during its 1-0 win earlier in the day, The Advance reported.
The decision came down shortly after the game ended and stemmed from the use in the closing minutes of a sophomore forward who had appeared in a junior-varsity contest a day earlier. The determination advanced the Gators to the final for the fifth time in the last six seasons.
St. Joseph Hill coach Mike Percaccio said he thought it was OK to use a JV call-up as long as they were added to the roster prior to game day. He said he's done it before over the years without it raising an issue.
"My girls deserve to win, not the team that didn't score," Percaccio told the paper. "The girls did everything right and because of a loophole rule, we don't get the victory."
Notre Dame Academy coach Nick Senise, who co-chairs the city's CHSAA girls' soccer program with The Mary Louis Academy coach Joe Lewinger, said he received official word of the forfeit from CHSAA Archdiocesan president Sue Shepherd.
"The player in question played in a Hill JV playoff game on Tuesday. ... She can't play in two different (playoff divisions in the same year)," Senise explained. "Once the playoffs start, you can't go from JV to varsity and it's always been like that. It's clearly a violation of the rule."
Percaccio told the paper the national high school soccer rulebook does not have a measure prohibiting such participation, but "my athletic director (Janice Phillips) told me it does exist."
More rules drama: Monday's Section 1 boys soccer tournament had a rules controversy of its own. Horace Greeley defeated defending NYSPHSAA Class AA champion New Rochelle on penalty kicks, but it's possible the game should have been settled in overtime. Trouble is, they didn't play enough overtime because the referee did not know the rule.
"Before we started overtime, the head coach from Greeley (Camp Shropshire) and I went out to the official because we saw 10 minutes on the clock," New Ro's Jarohan Garcia told The Journal News. "We both said to him, 'It's supposed to be 15 minutes for overtime.' And he said, 'No, it's only 10 minutes; 15 is for semifinals and finals.' I said, 'I don't think so.' He told us, 'I just looked at the Section 1 booklet and it says 10 minutes.' He said it so matter of factly, and the game went on."
Shropshire confirmed that both coaches attempted to correct the officials. The rule is clearly spelled out in the Section 1 Boys Soccer Handbook, the paper reported.
Ten-minute sudden victory halves are the standard in regular-season overtime. But for the Section 1 postseason, two 15-minute sudden victory halves are to be played, something that is also explained on a list of reminders on the Westchester-Putnam Approved Soccer Officials Association website.
According to WPASOA President Rich Leaf, there was an Oct. 11 meeting for playoff officials where postseason rule adjustments were discussed in detail.
"Our guys screwed up," Leaf said. "There's no doubt about it. I'm not passing the buck. We were wrong and we'll deal with it. As president, I take full responsibility. We feel very bad and it's very unfortunate that the kids were shortchanged."
In a follow-up column, Vincent Mercogliano had five