HERKIMER, N.Y. (WKTV) - For a fourth year in a row, the Herkimer General Men's Soccer team will be hosting the NJCAA D III National Championship game. Herkimer defeated the Richland Thunderducks 2-1 in regulation on two second half goals from MacIntyre Felton (Vestal, NY) and Peter McAvoy (Dundee, Scotland).
Herkimer (16-1) allowed the first goal of the game in the 53rd minute to Jorge Deleon. It was the fifth goal the team has allowed this season and second in the last two games after accumulating an impressive eight consecutive shutouts. The Thunderducks took advantage of a poor kick by goalie Triston Henry (Scarborough, Ont.) in the middle of the field, resulting in the netter. Assisting on the play was Flavio Guzman.
It took the Generals just 12 minutes to respond after Richland let a ball go out-of-bounds deep in their territory while it was in their possession. With Herkimer now settled deep, it took one kick from the strong side of the field, to the weak side were freshman forward Jermaine Windster (Rotterdam, Holland) headed the ball to the net where Felton was waiting for the strike. The goal came in the 65th minute, tying the game at 1-1.
The go-ahead goal came off the head of the Captain Peter McAvoy, on a corner kick from James Wilson (Woodford Green, England) in the 71st minute, just like in the Quarterfinals on Thursday against SUNY Adirondack, ironically also giving the team a 2-1 lead. The goal was McAvoy's team leading 14th, while the assist was Wilson's team leading ninth. Both Wilson and McAvoy have benefitted from each other this season, combining for seven goals, McAvoy scoring and Wilson assisting on all of them.
Playing with the lead is something the Generals have done all season, thus were well prepared for the fight the Thunderducks gave them in the final 20 minutes of regulation. In the 73rd and 77th minute Henry kept Richland off the board after coming close to tying. Henry finished the game with two saves. McAvoy also got in the act in the 82nd, clearing a dribbler which might have hit the cross bar.
Both Windster and Jimmy Calderon (New Rochelle, NY) cleared Richland's final two offensive possession with less than a minute left, sealing the win and giving the team a shot at winning the NJCAA DIII National Championship three years in a row.