For the eighth straight season, Cherry Valley-Springfield will represent the East Division in the Tri-Valley League boys soccer crossover final.
The Patriots (14-1, 13-0) received two goals from Ben Drugatz to defeat visiting Milford, 4-1, Monday to seal the division title. CV-S scored the final four goals.
Jake Spencer and Wyatt Crowley also scored for the Patriots, who will meet West Division champion Edmeston in the final Saturday at the Wright National Soccer Campus.
“I think we had a core group coming back,” said CV-S coach Terri Adams, whose team lost, 1-0, to Morris in last season’s crossover final. “We did lose talent to graduation, but we have a large junior class that participates. The seniors have stepped up and they’re playing team ball.”
It seems the Patriots have always played team ball. Their current run of success has included 3-2-2 record over the last seven crossover finals. That pass-and-cut style has been the catalyst for CV-S’ success.
“They are very much a team,” Adams said. “When you play as a team, it doesn’t matter who finishes as long as we finish. We come out as a unit. I have had defenders, midfielders and front line people score. It’s keeps us balanced and we move the ball.”
Milford, which is 11-2 in league play and could have forced an East Division tiebreaker with a win Monday, scored first.
The goal started with a short corner kick that went to Peyton Griffiths. He penetrated to the end line before centering a pass that Michael Strenck finished six minutes into play.
The Patriots tied the score with 10:08 left in the first half. Kurt Pressly chipped a ball into the box and Drugatz volleyed it into the goal.
Jake Spencer scored the go-ahead goal three minutes into the second half. Noah Russo’s pass found the head of Spencer, who popped it over Milford goalie Max Lang.
About 10 minutes later, a corner kick by Russo was headed into the goal by Crowley to make it 3-1.
“In the second half, we developed our short passing game again,” Adams said. “We kind of lost in the first half. We were flat in the first half.”
CV-S defeated Edmeston, 2-0, earlier this season. The Patriots’ last outright Tri-Valley League title came in 2010, when they beat the Panthers, 2-0.
CV-S 4, Milford 1
Milford 1 0 – 1
CV-S 1 3 – 4
Milford: Michael Strenck 1-0, Peyton Griffiths 0-1.
Cherry Valley-Springfield: Ben Drugatz 2-0, Jake Spencer 1-0, Wyatt Crowley 1-1, Kurt Pressly 0-1, Noah Russo 0-2.
Shots-corner kicks: M 3-3; C 10-3.
Goalies: Max Lang (M) 4; Jeremy Pickett (C) 2.