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Fallsburg vs. Spackenkill boys varsity soccer; Comets soar in sectional showdown

Photos by Ted Waddell

November 2, 2016

MIDDLETOWN, NY — It was worth the wait.

On Friday it was “High Noon” on Middletown High School’s Faller Field as the Comets of Fallsburg (16-0-1) squared off against the Spackenkill Spartans (15-3) in the Section 9, Class B showdown.

The boys varsity booters battled each other mightily on a windswept field, but only one could be crowned champ, and at the end of regulation play, the Comets remained undefeated as they beat their opponents 2-1 to take a sectional match for the first time in 15-some years for Fallsburg.

Despite spirited completion by both squads, the game was knotted at the close of the first frame.

At 30:09 in the second half, Fallsburg’s Kevin Cerritos blasted it in from the side, off an assist by Kelvin Nunez.

Not to be outdone, with 28:44 remaining on the game clock, Spackenkill stunned the Comets to tie it up 1-1 on what their coach called an 18-yard “bullet” by Jake Kaufman, assisted by Joe Guerriero.

With less than a minute left in the match, the Comets’ leading scorer, Nunez, broke free from the pack and scored the winning goal.

Fallsburg’s goalie Selvin Brizuela was the unofficial star of the game, as he deflected at least nine Spartans’ shots on goal.

“We had our opportunities; we just weren’t able to capitalize on them, [but] they kept fighting,” said Spartans coach Manny Blanco.

In tipping his hat to the victors, he added, “A lot of credit to them… a fast aggressive team.”

Blanco’s take on the game: “That’s just the way the game is sometimes.”

Fallsburg started off the 2016 soccer season with a tie against Seward during its first outing, and then went on an undefeated roll to the sectional finish line.

“The kids had a great season,” said Comets coach Michael Geller, noting his team had to overcome a “lot of adversities” to make it into sectional play.

“Once we got our final team together, we really gelled,” he added. “My goal this year was to reach our full potential and win sectionals.”

Fallsburg’s goalie Brizuela racked up save after save as he defended the net against 14 shots on goal by the Spartans.

“He made some incredible saves to keep us in the game,” said Geller. “He gave us an opportunity for success.”

Spackenkill’s keeper Quinn McGinnis had three saves.

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