Alex Reid (middle) helped lead Lockport to a perfect season until the Lions met Clarence in the Class AA final and lost in penalty kicks. (Photo by Joe Valenti)
It was a remarkable season for the Lockport High School boys soccer team — and the Lions were just minutes away from potentially even more.
Three minutes away from a Section VI championship, the Lions gave up the game tying goal to Clarence and had to share the crown. And then it was the Red Devils that earned the right to compete in the Far West Regionals by winning the penalty kicks.
But that still doesn’t diminish the accomplishments.
“They have nothing to hang their heads about,” Lockport coach Jeff Hulshoff said. “They still went undefeated. What can you do?”
In the Section VI championship game, Alex Reid gave the Lions a lead late in the first quarter with his 22nd goal of the season. It took until the 77th minute, but Clarence tied it on a Brendan Law goal.
With several key Lockport players sidelined with cramps, the Red Devils controlled much of overtime sessions. But Lions’ junior goalkeeper Bailey Reid was clutch and kept Clarence off the board.
The Red Devils controlled the penalty kick round, however, scoring on all three of their attempts. One Lockport shot was stopped and two others went wide.
“It was just one of those things,” Hulshoff said. “We practice penalty kicks in practice all the time. They just missed.”
Officially, the Lions and Red Devils are co-champions in Class AA. Clarence went on to the Far West Regionals and lost to Webster Schroeder.
And the Red Devils also ended the season with a lot of respect for their rivals to the north.
“I give a lot of credit to Lockport and how hard they work,” Clarence coach Mike Silverstein said. “They’re a great team; we were just able to come out ahead.”
The Lions ended the season at 18-0-1 and collected a Niagara Frontier League title with a perfect 14-0 record.
Lockport also saw a number of kids put up fantastic statistical seasons. Alex Reid’s 22 goals ranked second on the club to the 24 scored by Michael Ford. Joshuah Benshaw added 14 goals for Lockport.
“What a great season, no question about it,” Hulshoff said. “We have a lot to be proud of.”