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Hamilton tops Cherry Valley in a snow storm

By MIKE LEVIN

MORRISVILLE, N.Y. (WKTV) - Not even old man winter could stop the Hamilton boys soccer team in the Class D regionals as the Emerald Knights earned their fourth straight trip to the state semis with a 1-0 win over Cherry Valley-Springfield Friday.  The game was delayed for over a half hour with 24:41 left in the game because of heavy snowfall and poor visibility.

Rob Keever scored the game winning goal in the first half, on a shot set up by Drew Thompson which was intended for Sam Owens, but the Patriot defense had him covered.  Instead, Keever put a touch on the ball, then rolled it past the keeper.

"It came to me and I knew I couldn't mess up because [against Cincinatus in the Section Final], I shanked the ball and it went way wide," said Keever after the game.  "So I took a touch on it, don't know how many I took, but I just slid it right past the keeper."

Keever is going to be a popular guy around Hamilton this weekend, because after his game winning goal, he was heading on stage to show off his acting chops in the Hamilton High performance of "Enchanted April."

This game will long be remembered for the conditions, as a light snow at the opening kick became whiteout conditions by midway through the second half.

"Unbelievable though never a delay like that with 24 minutes left to have to stop the game and delay for a half hour and come back out and try to finish it," said head coach Brian Latella.

"I've played in games that we cold and rain, but never in two inches of snow," added Thompson.  "It was just something I've never experienced and I didn't particalarly enjoy it in such a high anxiety game."

Despite the conditions, the Emerald Knights earned their way back to the final four and if they win one more game, will be playing for another state title.  Hamilton last won it all in 2008.

After winning a game like this, with the conditions the way they were, Keever summed up the Emerald Knights mindset as they head for Middletown next weekend.  "It's the first time I've ever played in something like this, ball would just not move we couldn't dribble we just had to work on one touches and everything in the middle it was actually really good for us cause it will get us ready for states."
 

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