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Monday, Nov. 18, 2013: Following up on championship weekend action

   Leading off today: Sophomore Dylan Nealis had quite the weekend for Massapequa, and Massapequa had quite the weekend representing Section 8 soccer, which scored big in the hardware department in New York State Public High School Athletic Association championships.

   A day after scoring the goal in Massapequa's 1-0 win over Monroe-Woodbury in the boys Class AA semifinals in Middletown, Nealis knocked home a free kick midway through the second half Sunday to help the Chiefs beat Fairport 1-0 for their first title.

   The goals were Nealis' first two of the season, and goalkeeper Dan Vitiello posted his 12th shutout.

   "I knew I had to step up big time," Nealis told MSG Varsity. "All these teams are good. I knew if we played our game, we would come out on top."    The winner vs. Fairport came off a free kick after Nealis had been pulled down atop the penalty area in the 58th minute. Rather than trying to put the ball in the air over or around Fairport's four-man wall, Nealis unleashed a worm-burner that went untouched into the net after a defender on the wall jumped in anticipation of a chip.

   "I knew the wall was going to jump up, so I slid it under," he said. "It felt amazing. I think they thought I was going to put it over the top."

   Massapequa's girls were every bit as successful Sunday.

   Alyssa Iannuzzi scored the winning goal as the Chiefs defeated North Rockland 2-1 in the girls Class AA final. at Cortland State. Chiefs midfielder Olivia Stegner opened the scoring with her first goal of the season.

   The girls team's fifth state crown put an exclamation mark on a great day for Section 8. Three boys teams (Massapequa, Carle Place, Friends Academy) won outright championships, and the fourth (Jericho) went home with a share of the title. Garden City's girls were the section's sixth champion of the day.

   Leading off today: Rob McAuliffe now has something no other NYSPHSAA boys soccer coach has: seven championships.

   McAuliffe's Chazy Eagles played a 1-1 tie with Jasper-Troupsburg in Class D action in Middletown, sending the squads home as co-champions.

   "Coach never gives up on our team and is always encouraging us," said Josh Barriere, who tallied Chazy's goal to knot the score. "He's very thoughtful and unselfish. He never takes credit for how well we do and it's all about the players with him. He is irreplaceable to our program and we couldn't do this without him."

   More hardware: Stop us if you've heard this one before: Eden won its fifth straight NYSPHSAA volleyball title and 11th overall, sweeping past Millbrook 25-7, 25-18, 25-15 in Class C at the Glens Falls Civic Center.


Tournament brackets
TOURNEY BRACKETS Tournament brackets

   Fifth-year varsity player Lainy Pierce was selected the tournament MVP for the second consecutive year. The Penn State recruit finished with five aces and three blocks.

   "The start of my junior year I had to learn a whole other role of setting, and I had to continue that this year," she told The Buffalo News. "Although setting might not be what I’m going to college for, it was something I had to learn how to do for the better of my team."

   Domination continues: Lakeland won its fifth straight Class B championship and eighth NYSPHSAA field hockey title overall under coach Sharon Sarsen by routing Brighton 7-0 at Cicero-North Syracuse.

   "We're just very proud of where the program is now," Sarsen, in her 32nd season, told The Journal News. "Awards are nice, but it's the days, the people and the games. We're just so happy. So many people doubted us, but we found what worked."

   Sophomore Dana Bozek scored the first of her three goals less than three minutes into the game. Less than five minutes later, Steph Scala scored the first of her two goals and the rout was on.

   Lakeland finished its season 22-0.

   Cross country: Liverpool's boys dominated and the John Jay Cross River girls pulled out a narrow win in the Federation championships at Bowdoin Park in Wappinger Falls.

   Liverpool rode junior Dan Muldoon's seventh-place finish to score 75 points and easily outdistance Chaminade (160) and St. Anthony's (166).

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   The JJCR girls edged Saratoga 153-154, with Queensbury (188) placing third.

   Individually, Pearl River senior Brian Cook topped the boys field in 15:45.2, with Chaminade senior Thomas Slattery second in 15:56.3. In the girls race, Corning freshman Jessica Lawson won in 18:16.2, ahead of Rush-Henrietta junior Alex Cooper (18:22.7).

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