Small schools achieve big goals in 2009
While much of the fall high school soccer coverage focuses on the FAB 50 programs, there were several non-FAB 50 finishers who are worth mentioning. In most of these cases, these programs dominated on the small school and/or small state level, but did not crack the nation's elite. Today, our attention is on the boys' programs that could be considered small schools with big results.
Billings West (Billings, Mont.): Alex Gallagher, the state's leading scorer, netted the final goal of the season in Billings West's 2-1 come-from-behind state title victory over Hellgate. Billings West scored twice in the final 12 minutes to capture its second straight state title.
Chazy (N.Y.): Brandon Laurin's second-half penalty kick carried Chazy to a 1-0 victory over Northville in the Class D state title on the final day of high school play at the National Soccer Hall of Fame Field. The Hall of Fame facility is closing in the next few months, but a few of the fields might remain at the complex. Chazy's victory marked the program's fourth state title as it finished a 20-0-2 season.
Colorado Springs Christian (Colorado Springs, Colo.): The Colorado Class 3A state champion finished the season 19-0-2 and claimed its second state title this decade.
Comsewogue (N.Y.): After starting 0-1-1 by playing a pair of Class AA opponents, Comsewogue reeled off 20 straight victories to claim its second straight Class A state title. The team, with four college-bound players, finished ranked No. 1 in Newsday. Midfielder Josh Butzke has committed to Bucknell.
East Greenwich (R.I.): Michael Monti scored twice to lead East Greenwich to a 3-0 victory over Lincoln in the Division II state final to cap an 18-0-1 season. Several members of the senior-loaded East Greenwich squad started soccer together on the town's youth team.
Hanover (N.H.): Hanover has become a fixture on this postseason list. Sophomore Isaiah Fariel's goal in the 101st minute lifted Hanover to a 1-0 victory over Coe-Brown and secured the program's record-setting fifth straight Class I state title.
St. Dominic (St. Louis, Mo.): Perhaps the most explosive finish for a team this year was St. Dominic's Class 2 state final victory. The team rolled off six second-half goals to topple Bolivar 7-0, which stands as the most lopsided final in the country this school year.
Scarborough (Maine): After losing 13 players from last year's 18-0 state-title winning season, Scarborough figured to be in a rebuilding stage. Far from it. The squad won its second straight Class A state crown with a 2-1 victory over Brunswick and finished No. 1 in the state with an 18-0 record. Scarborough carries a 36-match win streak into the 2010 season.
Tolland (Conn.): Most of the team's 13 seniors started playing together at the under-8 club level with the Tolland Storm. That group capped a storybook senior season, going 19-0-2 and winning the Class M state title. Tolland finished as the lone undefeated public school in Connecticut.
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