More than two decades of playoff frustration ended for the Niskayuna boys soccer team Tuesday night.
Tyler Gansfuss’ overtime goal lifted the Silver Warriors to a 1-0 victory over Bethlehem in the Section II, Class AA finals at Colonie Central High School.
It’s the first Sectional title for Niskayuna since 1984. In the interim, the Silver Warriors had been to three finals and countless semifinals, only to come up short.
It’s a 400-pound gorilla off our back, said Niskayuna coach Jeffrey Ormsbee.
The game was played mostly in the midfield, as neither defense was willing to allow a good shot on goal. The closest either team came to scoring in regulation was when Bethlehem’s Austin Hughes had an open look at the goal in the final two minutes of the second half, but his turnaround shot went well wide.
Gansfuss ended matters midway through the first 10-minute overtime period, though. He took a pass from Jake Johnson at the top of the Bethlehem penalty box and blasted a shot past goaltender Dan Maddock to put Niskayuna into Saturday’s regional against the Section III champion at Colonie.
`I didn’t think it was going in when I hit it, but a second later the goalie moved to the left and that’s when I knew it was going in,` said Gansfuss.
`It was a great finish, and it was at a perfect time,` said Ormsbee. `That was a tough team to beat.`
Schalmont also advanced into regionals after beating Schuyler-ville 3-1 in Saturday’s class B final at Colonie.
Carlo Viscusi scored the first two goals, and Marc Case added the other as the Sabres took a 3-0 lead in the first half. The Black Horses got one goal back late in the first half, but it wasn’t enough.
Schalmont played Marcellus in Wednesday’s regional.“