BOYS SOCCER: FORKS TO FACE UNBEATEN AND STINGY SQUAD FROM EAST AURORA IN STATE SEMI
By ROB CENTORANI
Broome County East Sports Report
Chenango Forks boys sit two wins from their first state championship in soccer.
The first step comes at 6 p.m. Saturday against unbeaten East Aurora in a Class B state soccer semifinal at Goshen High.
The winner will play Section 2's Mechanicville or Section 9's Spackenkill at 4:30 p.m. Sunday for the title at Middletown High. Mechanicville and Spackenkill play their semifinal at 3:45 p.m. Saturday at Goshen,
East Aurora (20-0-1), which shares the Blue Devils nickname with Forks, tied Williamsville South, 2-2, for the lone blemish on its record. Forks brings a 15-3 record into Saturday.
East Aurora at a glance: It advanced to the final four with a 7-1 victory over Hornell. Amar Culov had three goals in that game and leads the team with 30 goals on the season. Bronson Besant, Sam Ervin, Sam Evans and Calvin Salerno also scored.
"They're a very active team on both sides of the ball," Forks coach Jarod McMullen said. "They're not just a good attacking team, but they're very disciplined as well. They organized and they have a very good coach.
"This is the first team we've played that has not had a loss and that says a lot about this team. That's something that needs to be honored. Because of our strength of schedule, because of the opportunities that we've had this season, we've seen speed, we've seen size, we've seen strengths on all lines and that's prepared us for this game."
East Aurora has not allowed more than two goals in a game this season and has permitted 14 goals all season.
Forks at a glance: In three elimination games, Forks has outscored its opposition, 15-4.
The quick-strike Blue Devils have excelled at using long balls to get Keegan Watson and Nate Raab free for attacks. Watson scored twice and Raab had the winner with 48 seconds remaining in the Blue Devils' 3-2 quarterfinal victory over Marcellus.
"At this point in the season, teams are going to have weapons and we just have to know where those weapons are at all times," McMullen said. "Our game plan is to play our game, know where their weapons are, match up and make sure we're matching up with the right guys."
Forks also has received solid play in goal from Nolan Sirgany, who made a pair of difficult and crucial stops with under 10 minutes left against Marcellus.
"They're undefeated, so that tells you something," Sirgany said. "We're really just focusing on ourselves. If we play our best game against them, I don't think we can be beat by them."
Other semifinalists: Mechanicville is 18-1-1 and defeated Canton, 2-0, to reach the semifinals. Rece Dyer had a goal and an assist, Thomas Wendel had a goal and Ethan Raucci an assist in that victory.
Spackenkill is 14-3 and advanced to the semifinals with a penalty-kick shootout victory over Carle Place, 6-5, after the teams played to a 1-all tie through regulation and overtime. Freshman Henry Stock had the winning penalty kick.
Nate Stout scored in regulation after a free kick by Dylan Breslow.
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