Section 2 Class AA boys soccer: Shaker, Niskayuna pull off quarterfinal upsets

Goals in the closing seconds helped No. 5 Shaker and No. 7 Niskayuna win their Section 2 Class AA boys soccer quarterfinals games Saturday, Oct. 20.

Jack Cheney scored the game-winning goal with six seconds in regulation left to push Shaker (11-3-4) past defending Sectional champion Shenendehowa 2-1. The fourth-seeded Plainsmen (10-4-1) took a 1-0 lead on a penalty kick late in the first half, but they were called for a handball inside their own penalty box early in the second half. Jack Acquario converted the penalty kick to tie the game, and then Cheney won it by heading in Stephen Guidi’s corner kick.

Goalkeeper Keegan Flaherty made 10 saves for the Blue Bison, who avenged a 2-0 loss to the Plainsmen during the regular season.

Not to be outdone, Niskayuna (12-3-2) went to overtime to edge No. 2 Albany 3-2. Jackson Bishop bicycle kicked Merjan Ozisik’s line drive pass into the Albany goal with eight seconds left in the second overtime period to propel the Silver Warriors past the Falcons (12-3-1).

Ozisik scored the game’s first goal 14 minutes into the second half off a pass from George Tsakalakos and then added a penalty kick to put Niskayuna up 2-0. Two penalty kicks in the final nine minutes helped Albany pull even with the Silver Warriors.

Elsewhere in Class AA, top-seeded Christian Brothers Academy handled No. 8 Guilderland 2-0. Sumahri Stewart tallied off a pass from Keegan Vedder in the fourth minute, and Wyatt Leto scored in the 64th minute for the Brothers (14-1-2). Guilderland finished its season with a 7-10-1 record.

The quarterfinal game between No. 3 Bethlehem (12-3-1) and No. 6 Saratoga Springs (11-4-0) takes place Monday, Oct. 22.

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