Aquinas put together a relentless pursuit of the Section V Class A boys soccer title this fall, and the team had to turn back the constant championship-caliber program at Pittsford Sutherland to claim the prize.
A 2-0 victory over Sutherland in the tournament final Friday at Spencerport gave Aquinas its first sectional title since 2006. This year’s Aquinas squad remains undefeated.
Both goals were scored in the second half, leaving the Sutherland Knights short of their first title since the end of a string of three sectional championships in 2021. The Knights lost to Spencerport in the 2022 Class A final.
Aquinas took the lead in this final with 25:53 remaining in the second half, when the Knights put the ball in their own net. Miciah Benjamin-Castle sent a corner kick into a group of players about three yards in front of the goal.
Boys soccer: Section V scores for 2023 season
Play of the game
Aquinas extended its lead with 10:04 remaining in the second half. Ali Shabani redirected a ball sent in by Alfonso Vito with his head past the goalkeeper.
By the numbers
8, 19 – Number of goals scored by Ali Shabani, and the 2022 Democrat and Chronicle All-Greater Rochester Team member’s assist total this season.
17 – Wins for Aquinas, including a 5-2 victory over Pittsford Sutherland on September 19. There are also ties against Clarence of Section VI and McQuaid on the Aquinas record.
4 – Saves for Aquinas goalie Joshua Gleason against Pittsford Sutherland.
20, 11 – Number of goals scored and assists for Aquinas senior forward Alfonso Vito this fall.
1992 – The year Aquinas beat Pittsford Sutherland during the finals with a team member named Josh Gleason, the current Aquinas coach.
They said it
“(The Pittsford Sutherland Knights) are a great team. We beat them but they are a different team now. They never stopped working.” – Aquinas coach Josh Gleason.
“We had a lot of chances in the first half and couldn’t put any of those away. (Sutherland goalie) Seth Rozen did a really good job, he made a lot of good saves.
Aquinas is in the state tournament, where it will play the Section VI Class A champion during the regional or quarterfinal round November 3 in the Buffalo area.
This article originally appeared on Rochester Democrat and Chronicle: Section V boys soccer: Aquinas shuts out Pittsford Sutherland for title