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North Collins’ title run ended by familiar foe in boys soccer

North Collins entered Friday night’s boys soccer Class D Championship game facing the same opponent in the final – Ellicottville – for a fifth straight season.

But the reigning four-time defending champions of Class D would not get the same result, this time around.

“It’s always a tough game when we take on Ellicottville,” North Collins head coach Jay Walters said. “They’re a good team and are very well coached. Every game the past four years against Ellicottville has been close, so we knew it would come right down to the end.”

The second half started off much like an evenly-played first, with the teams’ fighting off the wet and windy conditions to create a scoring chance, but Ellicottville started to control the pace, as the half went on. Then Connor Green broke the scoreless tie when he put one into the North Collins net for what turned out to be the winner, with 4:25 remaining in the game.

“We talked about Connor all week long; we knew he was a special player for them and that we’d have to contain him,” Walters said. “We were aware of Connor’s level of desire and his level of ability. When the moment came knocking, he was right there to take advantage of it.”

North Collins entered the game with an 11 – 2 – 2 record on the season and as the top overall seed in the Class D playoffs. Ellicottville entered as the two-seed, after posting a 10 – 6 record, during the regular season.

As time wound down on the clock, so did North Collins’ chances of its fifth consecutive Class D title.

This marked Ellicottville’s first boys soccer Class D championship in school history. Ellicottville will take on the Class D Champion from Section V on Nov. 8 at East Ridge High School in Rochester.

Despite the loss, Walters said that he knows his team gave it everything it had and that there is optimism, when looking forward to next season.

“It was a great year overall,” he said. “To go 11 – 3 – 2 is something to be proud of. We won some big games this season; obviously, we would’ve liked to have won this one tonight, but we didn’t get it done. I thought we played hard, the entire game. Ellicottville has been after this one for a while now, and this year they got us. We got contributions from a lot of different players this year and hopefully we can build off them for next year. ”
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