Originally published in the Albany Times Union - By Dylan Rossiter
"Overtime is a great way to win, but it's a terrible way to lose," Maple Hill boys' soccer coach Dan Gillespie told a handful of parents after the Wildcats' 2-1 loss to Potsdam in the Class C regional final on Saturday at Colonie High School.
The Wildcats (20-1) were widely expected to win, given Potsdam's modest 9-6 record.
"All the pressure was on them in this game. They were expected to win," Potsdam forward Daniel Caamano said. "We told the boys if they work hard and put in 100 percent, anything can happen. It's soccer."
Caamano, a senior, delivered the game winner just seconds into overtime.
After a scoreless first half, it wasn't until 23 minutes into the second that either team got on the board. Maple Hill junior Nick Butler put the Wildcats on top 1-0.
"I was in disbelief when I made it. I guaranteed we were going to win after that," said Butler, whose goal was the first of his varsity career.
Just like in the Section II championship game, the Wildcats' opponents tied the score just minutes later.
With seven minutes remaining, Potsdam's Jacob Keleher scored, forcing overtime.
"We won our sectional in OT and had just scored, so the pressure was again all on them," Keleher said. "The playoffs are an entirely new season, and we just jumped on that."
For Maple Hill, the loss is its only setback in an otherwise decorated season, especially considering the team had lost five dominant seniors.
"We made two defensive mistakes today that just hurt us," Gillespie said. "Not many teams can win 20 games in a year. To get to this point, it's a painful day, but a memorable one."
With the win, Potsdam advances to the state tournament next weekend in Middletown. Potsdam will play the winner of North Salem and Seward at 9:15 Saturday morning.