Solomon Ochieng’s 18-yard goal a little more than eight minutes into Friday’s Section Three Class C boys soccer semifinal held up as Cooperstown fell, 1-0, to fifth-seeded Manlius-Pebble Hill on a wet field at Morrisville State.
“It was a good shot — the best shot of the night,” said Cooperstown coach Frank Miosek, whose top-seeded team outshot MPH, 8-5. “It had to be the shot of the night because there weren’t many shots.
“The field was wet — with driving rain and snow — and the ball did a lot of skipping,” Miosek continued. “There was a lot of defensive plays and not much on the offense end of game.”
Ochieng took a pass from left halfback Jon Alley at the top of the 18-yard box, moved to his right and scored inside the left post for the early lead.
Miosek said his Redskins (15-3) controlled 60 to 70 percent of the game but failed to take a quality shot. MPH’s Cal Dougherty made two saves to match Cooperstown keeper Kevin Frevele.
“It has been a remarkable season,” said Miosek, who will lose reigning Daily Star Player of the Year Michael Rowley, among others, to graduation. “I’m very proud of the boys and I look forward to next year.”
The Trojans (14-5) advanced to the Section Three Class C championship game, which is scheduled for Tuesday at a time and site to be determined. They will play second-seeded Fabius-Pompey (16-2), which beat sixth-seeded Mount Markham, 2-0, in Friday’s late semifinal at Morrisville State.
MPH avenged its 3-2 semifinal loss in overtime to Cooperstown during the 2011 sectional tournament, which ended for the Redskins in the next round as Tully won the championship game in OT, 2-1.
Cooperstown also met MPH in the 2010 sectional semifinals. The Trojans won that one, 2-1, in overtime.