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Monday, Oct. 27, 2014: Section 2 soccer game ends with fight, arrested player

   Leading off today: Yes, it's a bit flippant considering that a kid ended up being treated at a hospital and an arrest was made. But I'll say it anyway since political correctness has never been one of my strong suits:

   I went to a hockey game and a Section 2 sporting event broke out.

   As if the recent Rensselaer-Whitehall football game wasn't embarrassing enough, Saturday's boys soccer playoff game between Maple Hill and Oppenheim-Ephratah/St. Johnsville ended with punches being thrown in the closing minutes and Schodack police being called, The Times Union reported.

   "My kids got attacked," Maple Hill coach Dan Gillespie said in the aftermath of the section's second significant soccer fracas recently.

   On Oct. 18, a football game between Whitehall and Rensselaer was called in the third quarter after a brawl erupted on the sideline. Last week, referees ended a boys soccer game between Columbia and Averill Park early after two players tried to punch each other, and were ejected.

   The Maple Hill game made it to the final three minutes, with Maple Hill ahead 4-2 in the Class C pre-quarterfinal before things went downhill in quick fashion with Maple Hill senior Nick Fettuccia suffering a facial injury before coaches and officials could step in to keep the incident from escalating. Police later said they arrested James Arthur Miller II in connection with the incident, The Times Union reported.

   "It was a great game prior to the incident. I think both coaches would agree," Maple Hill AD Dave Austin told the paper. "There was about three minutes to go and a few words had been exchanged between players. I told the (officials) to keep an eye on what was going on.

   "Literally, a few seconds later, a punch was thrown by a St. Johnsville player. (Fettuccia's) back was turned. Several punches were thrown, and I did not witness any punches thrown by our guys."

   Austin said Fettuccia was sent to a hospital for stitches. The athletic director said he called police and did not know the identity of the player who struck Fettuccia, though Miller's arrest was subsequently disclosed. Miller, 17, was charged with misdemeanor assault, released and will return to court in November, police told the paper.

   When reached by the paper Saturday evening, St. Johnsville AD Dan Hart said, "I choose not to comment on it. ... I just choose not to comment on it, period."

   In a holding pattern: Weather stopped a Section 5 girls soccer playoff game at the worst possible time Saturday night.

   Brighton and Pittsford Sutherland went through regulation and 30 minutes of overtime tied at 0-0 and were in the midst of a penalty-kick shootout when lightning was spotted in Brighton.

   The teams tried waiting it out, but conditions didn't improve and the contest was suspended until Monday with the teams tied 9-9 after 10 rounds of penalty kicks. It will be resumed on Monday at Brighton.

   "It could be over in 30 seconds, it could be over in five minutes," Brighton coach Rita Kladstrup told the Democrat and Chronicle. "We don't know how long it will take to settle it. It's pretty nuts."

   The winner plays top-seeded Pittsford Mendon on football site

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   Cross country: There were numerous league champion-ship meets over the weekend. Two girls meets in particular caught our interest, because they were reminders that some very good teams are going to get left home after the upcoming sectional meets.

   In the Suburban Council meet in Section 2, Saratoga (48 points) fought off Shenendehowa (64) and Guilderland (76). The teams are ranked third, fourth and fifth, respectively, in the state in Class A.

   In the Southern Tier Athletic Conference meet in Section 4, No. 6 Corning knocked off No. 2 Elmira by a 40-53 margin. Jessica Lawson led the way for Corning by winning in 18:49.3 over five kilometers. Abbey Wheeler of Elmira was second in 18:58.3.

   "We always want to see how we match up with Elmira," Corning coach Ray Lawson said . "We knew it would be a strategic race. It came down to the last half mile and seeing who was stronger."

   More cross country: had a nice story over the weekend about Matt Quinlan, a Tully runner who competed barefooted Wednesday in the OHSL Patriot Division championships and qualified for the Section 3 meet.

   Quinlan had opted to leave his running spikes home and race the wet course in his training shoes. That strategy was DOA within a matter of seconds after another runner stepped on the back of one of his shoes during the sprint out of the start. The shoe popped off after about 200 meters, and Quinlan decided he'd lose too much time stopping to put it back on.

   Anyone who runs competitively will tell you the only thing worse than running with no shoes is trying to run with one, so Quinlan ditched his other show and continued on in his socks.

   It was only a matter of second before the socks became soaked, so he those had to come off less than half a mile into the race.

   "By the time I was messing around with that, I was somewhere near last," Quinlan said. "That first mile was slow, really slow. "It's just more annoying than anything."

   Slowly, though, he picked off more than 70 runners and eventually finished 33rd in 20:16.1

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