The Shenendehowa boys soccer team is heading back to Oneonta for the state playoffs, but not before surviving penalty kicks against Section III champion Baldwinsville.
The two teams played to a 2-2 tie in last Saturday's Class AA regional final at Colonie Central High School to get to penalty kicks, which Shen won 3-2.
Baldwinsville scored on its first shot to take a 1-0 lead before Shen goaltender John Mabee slammed the door with three consecutive saves. Ryan Yurchak and Matt Telesca hit the net on their attempts to give the Plainsmen (17-1-2) a 2-1 lead, but Michael Guardino tallied to tie the round at 2. Michael Jenkins ended it for Shen with a shot inside the right post.
It looked like the Plainsmen wouldn't need penalty kicks to win the regional after they struck for two goals in the first 15 minutes. David Clemens scored on a direct kick, and Ryan Connors headed in a free kick from Telesca to make the score 2-0.
Baldwinsville came back with a goal late in the first half from Casey Murphy-Coleman. The Bees then tied the game early in the second half, and the score remained knotted at 2 through the rest of regulation and two 15-minute overtime periods.
Shen meets Section IX champion Newburgh Free Academy in Saturday's Class AA state semifinal at the Hall of Fame Soccer Complex in Oneonta. The winner plays either Section VI champion Clarence or Section XI champ Brentwood in Sunday's state final. The Plainsmen's last trip to Oneonta resulted (2005) resulted in a state championship.
In regional girls soccer playoff action last weekend, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake punched its ticket to Cortland and the Class A final four with Saturday's 4-1 victory over Section X champion Massena at Stillwater High School.
Monica Wolf was the star of the game for the Spartans (13-4-4). The senior scored her team's first three goals in the first half to help BH-BL take control. Jessica Lyden then tallied off a pass from Nicole DeCresente to put the Spartans up 4-0 at halftime.
BH-BL meets Section V champion Greece Arcadia in Friday's state semifinal."