BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — It takes a team to win a championship. Look no further than the Vestal boy’s soccer team who captured its sixth straight Section IV title Monday night. The Golden Bears needed every single player in Green and Gold to become sectional champs and earn 12 Sports’ Team of the Week.
“Oh, it’s a lot of fun being in that (celebration),” said Vestal head coach Dave Barr. “You guys gotta get the camera in the middle of that, because I’m looking up at everyone, because I’m the shortest one there and they’re all cheering. All that hard work, that’s what it comes to, that celebration at the end. It’s so much worth it.
Vestal had plenty to celebrate Monday night after a two-goal second half comeback to takedown Maine-Endwell and win the Class A Section IV title.
“I’m losing sleep over these guys,” said Barr. “They like starting like that, making the games exciting, and they did tonight. They put on a show tonight.”
That show hit its climax with four minutes to play when Archie Pahadi buried the game-winner for Vestal.
“What was going through my head was, I just needed to score to win,” said Vestal senior Archit Pahadi. “We had been working so hard this whole game and we had to win.”
“We needed someone to step up,” said Barr. “Instead of the regular guys, sometimes in these games. Archie came through (Monday). So happy for those guys to get that chance. What a time. They are going to remember that for their lives.”
It almost was a different story if not for sophomore goalie Austin Clement, who entered the game due to injury, and made the save of the season.
“Austin (Clement) came through on that breakaway,” said Barr. “He saved the game for us right there.”
“I just, I read it pretty well, I think,” said Vestal sophomore Austin Clement. “I’ve stopped him before so, I mean, I was confident.”
Now, the defending state champs start their quest to repeat in the state playoffs.
“We just gotta keep coming out hard,” said Vestal senior Dan Mansfield. “Keep playing our game and we can’t let up. We gotta keep the pedal to the metal. It’s our road to states.”
It’s a quick turnaround for Vestal as the Golden Bears face Cornwall Central in sub-regionals Wednesday, October 31 at 4 p.m. at Middletown High School.