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Friday, Nov. 1, 2019: McQuaid 'breezes' to win in Sec. 5 soccer semifinals

   Leading off today: As much of Upstate New York knows, we had some weather come through Thursday. The rain wasn't anything that we're not used to on the even of November, but the wind was an entirely different matter.

   A number of events around the state scheduled for Friday have been postponed as authorities clear damage and restore lost power caused by downed trees.

   McQuaid advances: McQuaid didn't blow out Penfield in the Section 5 boys Class AA semifinals but the Knights did take the wind of the sails in the Patriots' comeback bid with the goal shown above. Ryan Brown's volley from 73 yards out with the wind at his back caught Penfield pressing forward while looking for the equalizer with 10 minutes to go, completing a 2-0 victory.

   Senior Alex Klimowski gave McQuaid the lead for good when he converted on a corner kick opportunity with 9:43 to go in the first half.

   "We really kind of talked about it yesterday because we knew the weather was coming," McQuaid coach Nino Pilato said. "Before the game we just discussed it again about controlling ourselves and staying focused. Weather, refs all that stuff are the uncontrollable. That was something we kind of harped on and just focused on our game. It was a matter of doing the best we could with what was out there."

   M-W pulls off a sweep: Jesse Schwartz scored less than two minutes into overtime as the Monroe-Woodbury boys earned a 3-2 victory over Newburgh Free Academy for the Section 9 boys Class AA soccer championship.

   It was the Crusaders' first victory over Newburgh in three tries this season. The defending NYSPHSAA champions, who had to replace 10 starters from and unbeaten team, improved to 11-3-3.

   M-W is off until a state quarterfinal Nov. 9 vs. the winner of the first-round game between representatives of Sections 1 and 4.

    • The M-W girls bagged their seventh straight Section 9 championship by blanking Valley Central 4-0. Senior Josephine Sorce scored a pair of goals in the first half to lead the way.

   Monroe-Woodbury has allowed just six goals during a 17-1 follow-up to its 2018 NYSPHSAA championship.


   Eden breaks through: Eden joined the ranks of teams winning their first boys sectional soccer trophies, defeating Allegany-Limestone 2-1 in the Section 6 Class B-2 final.

   Giovanni Schifano's second goal of the game and 26th of the season broke a tie with three minutes to go.

   "Honestly, it feels great right now. I'm shaking, I'm so excited," he said. "Our team's been practicing for this moment. We've practiced hard and we've never screwed around. It shows on the field that we have come this far."

    • On Wednesday, Saranac Lake secured its first Section 7 title with a 1-0 win over Lake Placid in Class C. football site

   "It is the best feeling in the world," sweeper Camden Reiley said. "It is school history and we have waited 42 years to bring it home and I could not be happier for the school and for the group of guys who did it with me."

   Reiley scored in the 26th minute, drilling a direct kick from about 40 yards away into the upper, far corner.

   Plainedge supt. rips decision: Superintendent Ed Salina went on the offensive Thursday, post- ing to the Plainedge district website that the one-game suspension handed down on football coach Rob Shaver by a Section 8 committee was the work of a "kangaroo court."

   Salina was reacting to a six-person committee's unanimous decision to discipline the coach under Section 8's policy on lopsided scores, the first such application of the rule created in 2016. Plainedge beat Rockville Centre South Side 61-13 last weekend in a matchup of state-ranked, 6-0 football teams.

   "I am all for treating everyone justly, but it is my opinion that Coach Shaver was 'done wrong' by this group of self-professed experts on sportsmanship," Salina wrote in the lengthy letter, lauding the 23rd-year coach as "an incredible person, teacher and coach."

   The sectional rule requires coaches to explain in writing any victory by more than 42 points. The committee felt Shaver left his starters in too long after taking a 35-point lead into the fourth quarter.

   "Who said they are experts on sportsmanship?" Salina wrote. "Who appointed these people to run this kangaroo court, being the judge, jury, and executioners?

   The committee consists of two administrators that oversee athletics in the county, three athletic directors and another football coach.

   Said Jericho Superintendent Hank Grishman, chair of the superintendents board that oversees the section: "These are well respected members of the athletic council and the athletic community, and I would not for a minute question their background, their experience, their commitment to kids and their commitment to athletics."

   Retire Manhasset Superintendent Charlie Cardillo, who helped create the rule, said the policy limits blowouts and encourage coaches to spread playing time around in mismatches.

   The spirit of the policy, whether people support it or not, was because there was a tremendous amount of blowouts taking place and we're in the school education business," he said.

   The Nassau rule is believed to be unique in New York, and few other leagues or associations around the country have similar policies.

   "Connecticut tried it and realized it was a failed model and eliminated the rule," Salina said.

   Football schedule: Steve Grandin has pulled together the scores and schedules thus far for NYSPHSAA and CHSFL postseason action.

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