Leading off today:
Junior goalkeeper Ben Nacht came up big for Half Hollow Hills West
on Saturday as the Colts advanced to the NYSPHSAA boys Class AA championship game by winning on penalty kicks.
Nacht made 12 saves in regulation and overtime for a 1-1 tie during which HHH West played the final 50 minutes a man down, then he recorded a crucial stop on the first Shenendehowa penalty kick as the Colts advanced 3-2 in Middletown.
Leo Musacchia, Casey Brugna and Issah Khanat scored the penalty kicks as the Colts led 3-2 after four rounds. The final Shen kick smashed the crossbar, advancing HHH West to Sunday's final vs. McQuaid.
Jaylin Sykes staked Shenendehowa a 1-0 lead in the 55th minute, but junior Marcus Fraser equalized three minutes later. Any sense of relief evaporated just two minutes after that when the Colts' Nicholas Duchatellier was issued a red card after taking down a Shen player on a breakaway.
HHH West coach Doug Gannon admitted the best he could hope for at that juncture was to settle the game in PKs, putting disproportionate responsibility on Nacht's shoulders.
"He steals games, and I think he stole one for us today," Gannon said.
• Top-ranked McQuaid improved to 21-0 with 17 coming by shutout on Justin LaFountain's golden goal 39 seconds into overtime for a 1-0 win over Ithaca.
It was the Knights' fourth straight one-goal win and their sixth in eight matches.
McQuaid coach Nino Pilato is one win away from an unusual double in the sport. His Greece Odyssey squad won a New York State Public High School Athletic Association crown in 2012.
Fast finish: After being outplayed for much of the game, Queensbury struck for two goals in the final six minutes to defeat Garden City 2-0 in a Class A semifinal. Peter Crawford scored with 6:42 left, and Greg Maccharulo added an insurance goal with 1:13 remaining. The Spartans' Charlie Vergneres made 13 stops for the shutout as Queensbury improved to 22-0.
Vergneres began the season as a French exchange student with limited soccer experience, but became the starting goalkeeper when sectionals began. He was pressed repeatedly to make big plays and came through in each instance.
"Charlie was huuuuuge tonight, especially the first half. We could have been down two or three,” coach Pete Crotty said.
Queensbury's opponent on Sunday will be a 19-0 Vestal squad, a 2-1 winner over Pittsford Sutherland on Tristan Olmstead's goal with 12:22 to go.
More boys highlights: In Class B, sophomore Logan Groat blasted home his 11th goal of the season and second of the day ate in the first OT to propel Ichabod Crane (20-0-1) to a 2-1 win over Lackawanna.
The Riders, who have outscored their opponents by a margin of 104-5 this fall, will face Center Moriches (20-0) on Sunday. The Red Devils eliminated Westhill 2-0 as Long Island scoring leader Ben Hamilton connected in the 56th and 59th minutes to raise his season total to 38 tallies.
• Adam Swapceinski scored two goals a minute apart