The Fairport boys soccer team moved one step closer to their preseason goal of a sectional title with a 4-0 victory over No. 4 Webster Schroeder in the Class AA semifinals on Tuesday evening. The top-seeded Red Raiders will face No. 2 Churchville-Chili in the finals on Friday night.
Using its unique combo of size and speed, Fairport dominated the time of possession in a game that became more physical as time progressed. The meeting was the third of the season for the two teams, with the first ending in a 1-1 draw and the second a 2-0 win by the Red Raiders who are now 16-0-2 and ranked No. 3 in the state in Class AA in the latest poll.
"Coming into the season our number one team goal was to win a sectional title," said Fairport head coach Gianni Bussani. "We got past a tough team tonight and we will face another big challenge in the finals regardless of who we play."
Fairport got on the board in the 15th minute when Cameron Hughes redirected a shot from the left side with his head into the back of the net. The plays played even for the remainder of the first half, with Fairport controlling the midfield and time of possession while limiting Webster Schroeder's shot attempts to sporadic run-outs.
The Warriors got their best opportunity at an equalizer two minutes into the second half when they were awarded a free kick from just outside the penalty box, but their shot sailed over the Fairport wall and over the goal.
The Red Raiders extended their lead with back-to-back goals beginning at the 46:01 mark. After a nice run down the left side of the field, Alex Mangerian beat the Webster Schroeder keeper low to the far side of the net to put Fairport up by two. Hunter Critchlow then struck 33 seconds later from 35 yards out to give the Red Raiders a 3-0 lead, scoring on a laser shot over the keeper's fingertips.
Fairport's final goal came in the 56th minute when Max DeJean scored off a rebound off the right post after a shot by Anthony Gaglianese. The Red Raiders have outscored their opponents 62-5 on the season with assists on 50 (81 percent) of their goals.
"We work hard in every practice on our passing and ball control, and we are often at our best when we play on the ground," added Bussani. "Our size and physicalness helps us gain a lot of possessions, and combined with our speed helps us generate some good scoring chances."
Webster Schroeder finishes the season at 12-6-1, 5-4-1 in Monroe County League play. The Warriors won the 2012 Class AA title with a win over Fairport in the championship game. The Red Raiders won the Monroe County Division I title with a league record of 9-0-1, with the tie coming against Webster Schroder.
Page 2 of 2 - "The level of play in Section 5 and especially in our league is outstanding," Bussani added. "Every game is a hard fought contest and that prepares you well for sectional time."
Fairport will face No. 2 Churchville-Chili in the finals on Friday at Eastridge. Churchville-Chili (17-1-1) claimed the 2013 Monroe County Division III title with a league record of 9-0-1 and is ranked No. 7 in the state.