Boys Soccer: St Charles East romps over East Aurora

Updated: October 10, 2012 9:19PM

St. Charles East notched a “historical” victory over East Aurora in the Upstate Eight Conference’s inaugural Crossover Championship with its 6-1 triumph Wednesday.

Coaches from the 14 boys soccer programs committed to the idea of making one of each school’s two crossover contests between the River and Valley Divisions to be a season-ending bragging rights match. While the River Division winner started the rotation for location, it wasn’t so much a case of home field advantage as it was accuracy.

St. Charles East, which improved to 16-2-1 after claiming its division with a 5-0-1 mark, had only a 21-18 advantage for overall attempts, but enjoyed a 15-8 edge in on-target tries.

Unfortunately for the Tomcats, it was also a case of history repeating itself as East Aurora had its season record leveled off at 7-7-5 with the latest defeat mirroring a season-opening 5-2 loss to the Saints. The Tomcats became the Valley Division representative courtesy of goal differential after a three-way (4-0-2) tie with Neuqua Valley and Lake Park.

Despite a relatively even back-and-forth start, St. Charles East took the lead with 15:38 left in the opening half when starting keeper Chris Lucatorto’s boot became a foot race won by T.C. Hull. The Saints scoring leader notched his 23rd goal of the year with a seven-yard from right of center.

“When it bounced over their last defender I saw the space and then just focused on touching inside the right post,” Hull said. “Being River champs was special, but winning this first championship is greater. It’ll always be a part of UEC history.”

The Saints gained a 2-0 halftime lead from an eight-yard blast through the Tomcat defense by Taylor Ortiz after East Aurora goalie Francisco Delgaldo punched a corner kick up into the air.

“When the keeper’s punch came my way, I decided I was going to rip it no matter what,” Ortiz said. “I saw one defender not step up enough, so there was just a nice little hole that I threaded the shot through.”

East Aurora fought back into the contest to start the second half as Abraham Gomez’s through ball enabled Danny Miranda to juke Saints second-half keeper Mike Novotny for a five-yard empty netter. Three minutes later, David Reynoso had a stellar curving shot that Novotny punched past to keep East Aurora from gaining an equalizer.

After that, it was all St. Charles East as Brandon Villanueva got to a loose ball from a seven-yarder with 29:58 left to be played. Five minutes elapsed before Zach Manibog set up Eric Dietrich and four minutes later Andrew Shone’s cross became a highlight-reel one-touch in-air volley into the net by Manibog. Shone tallied the last goal from a feed by Alex Johnson.

“Knowing this goes in the history books makes this special, but it’s also extra special knowing we sent our seniors off with a win,” coach Paul Jennison said.

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