LAGRANGEVILLE — Pelham had its chances, but in the end, the Pelicans just didn’t have enough gas.
You could argue that Pelham got the better of play for the majority of its Class A regional final against Section 9 champ Goshen on Saturday, but a golden goal from Colton Schaefer less than five minutes into the first overtime period sent the Pelicans home with a 2-1 loss.
“I’m not going to say that we deserved to win, but I thought we played better than they did,” senior midfielder Ricarti Basso said. “But luck wasn’t on our side.”
Pelham outshot and out-possessed the Gladiators (17-3), but couldn’t find a way to get a second goal in regulation.
“That’s a heck of a team over there,” Goshen coach Michael Kelly said. “We knew we were going to have our hands full with (Aidan) Murray and (Charlie) Livingstone. I thought we came out real sharp. We were the more dangerous team in the first 20 (minutes), and then they really just stepped it up.”
Goshen focused on stopping Murray and Livingstone, who had connected on each of the Pelicans’ last five postseason goals, and was able to slow them down to start the game. Schaefer found Luis Howell to give the Gladiators a 1-0 lead in the 16th minute, but then Pelham (15-6-1) turned up the intensity.
“We hadn’t given up a goal in a long, long time, and we talked all week in training that if we did, the key was going to be not to panic,” Pelham coach Terence Huvane said. “Just stay focused, play Pelham soccer and continue to work.”
“They had like two men on Aidan, so the other side was open,” Basso said. “I cut to my right, and I had a feeling that if I shot, I was going to score. I just ripped it, and it went in.”
Three minutes later, Murray was able to slip a pass through to Livingstone for a great opportunity to take the lead before halftime, but Goshen goalkeeper Brandon Miller dove and tipped it into the post.
“He made ridiculous saves,” Kelly said of Miller, who finished with six saves. “He’s a senior captain for those reasons. We really trust him back there in net. We talk about it all of the time, how you get all of the blame and none of the credit, but I have to give him a ton of credit tonight. He was outstanding.”
Neither team was able to score in the second half, but it didn’t take the Gladiators long in OT. Freshman defender Brendan Hughes hit a long free kick to the far post, and Schaefer was there to clean it up.
“They really put together a run that hasn’t been seen in our town in soccer in a long, long time,” Huvane said of his team. “They should be very proud of the section title that they won. We deserved to be here, and it’s just tough that it ended the way that it did.”
Photos by Peter Carr/The Journal News