CHITTENANGO – The Christian Brothers Academy has featured great men’s soccer teams in its history, and the 2022 edition has an opportunity to place at or near the top of the list.
In three games on the way to the Section III Class A championship, the Brothers have not allowed a goal and have scored 17, capped by their 3-0 victory over New Hartford in the title match at Chittenango High School on Saturday.
Senior Connor Morgia, who scored twice in the final, said his team had been fueled all year by the memory of last year’s semi-final loss to East Syracuse Minoa.
“When we were beaten last year it was bad, so it’s good to be on top,” he said.
It was another group of Spartans, from New Hartford, who provided the opposition after beating ESM 3-2 in the semi-finals earlier in the week, but it didn’t take long for the ABC to take control.
In fact, barely 2:35 had passed when Santiago Betancourt-Trompa, working in the right corner, sent a cross through the middle which, with a quick movement, Sravan Kodali put into the net.
The Brothers’ second scoring chance turned into a second goal at 6:26. Juliuz Pichardokmp’s free kick was mishandled by New Hartford goalkeeper Cooper Borelli and Morgia, just wide of the net, fired the rebound.
Morgia said those early goals took a lot of the pressure off and allowed the Brothers to stay calm despite New Hartford’s physical mode of play – the one that sent senior Andrew Kohlbrenner on the sidelines midway through the first half.
It also helped the Brothers have a solid and consistent defense centered on goalkeeper Finn Wheeler, who said his job was much easier thanks to the foursome in front of him.
Rico Petrosillo, Tom Leskoske, Zack Mulhern and Aidan Duggan constantly had to worry about runs from New Hartford forwards, but turned most of them off, so Wheeler rarely had to make stressful saves.
Just 21 seconds into the second half, the margin swelled to three as, on a New Hartford turnover, Morgia, from the 30-yard point, drilled a hard shot into the left side of the net.
And it would stay there, with CBA earning a spot in the Class A state tournament as the program seeks a third state title to go along with those it won in 1996 and 1997.
The CBA meets Section X’s Massena in the regional round next Wednesday at Potsdam High School, set to win here, and in the regional final two days later, to reach the Nov. 12-13 four-state final in Middletown. .
Both Morgia and Wheeler said the team’s depth and work ethic has fueled the Brothers’ success thus far and must continue over the next two weeks.
“If we keep doing what we’ve been doing, our team has the ability to go far,” Wheeler said.