Metea Valley plays spoiler in winJuan Bustamante of East Aurora and Chris DiMarco (right) of Metea Valley race to the ball. | Jon Cunningham~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 11, 2011 9:38PM
Metea Valley played the spoiler role to the hilt in dealing East Aurora a 3-2 defeat on the Tomcats’ Senior Night.
Ryan Solomon’s second goal of the night with just 4:05 left in regulation may have made things even more bitter for East, depending on the outcome of Neuqua Valley’s final Upstate Eight Conference Valley Division contest. Whereas the Wildcats were tagged with a second tie in 2010 that gave the Tomcats’ sole ownership of the division crown --- the school’s first ever --- Tuesday’s loss would mean East Aurora would have to share the 2011 title if Neuqua posted a victory.
Not only was it Metea Valley’s first league victory, a second straight win gives the Mustangs the kind of momentum that offers proof of their contention that they’re better than their 7-5-5 overall and 1-3-2 Valley records indicate.
“I super happy with our kids’ resiliency,” coach Josh Robinson said. “We were down 1-0 to Waubonsie and got the tie, we gave up an early goal to Batavia and came back for the win. Tonight, we battled and battled to get the lead back twice against a good team on their home field.”
East Aurora coach Jason Rollins thought things could have turned out differently if the Tomcats would have been able to score first. Instead the Mustangs got on the board first when East failed to clear a ball at 20:04 and Nate Donovan pounced on the loose ball for a 10-yarder that is his fifth goal of the year.
The hosts, whose overall record is 13-4-4 with a 4-1-1 UEC Valley ledger, pulled even when Danny Miranda found Juan Bustamante in the clear for a 17-yarder that caromed off the crossbar and down inside the goal.
Metea Valley’s Zach Bavol’s through ball up field sprung Solomon on a breakaway on which he sized up Tomcat keeper Osvaldo Mata’s rush from the net and boomed it through his hands.
“Zach played the ball over the top and I saw the keeper coming off his line and just placed a hard shot. The second one was just a matter of timing the header,” explained Solomon, who upped his team-best tallies to 34 points off 14 goals. “This feels great because we not only beat a really good East Aurora team, but we showed what we can truly do over this last two matches.”
East Aurora pushed to the very end as Miranda bumped his team lead in assists to eight by setting up Eddie Gaytan for a six-yarder from the left side with just 6.6 seconds showing on the clock.
“I saw time winding down and gave Danny the ball hoping he’d get it back to me and he delivered,” last year’s Tomcat scoring leader said of his second goal. “As a senior, it felt good to get a goal in my last match, especially since it’s been a struggle this year, but I would rather we have won.”
That didn’t happen because Metea’s Bavol notched his eighth assist of the season in passing to Solomon for the decisive header.