WATERTOWN — Matt Herrmann and Central Square’s boys soccer team each continue to make history this week, at the expense of Frontier League teams.
Herrmann scored an unassisted goal in the first half and the Redhawks went on to blank Watertown, 2-0, on Friday night in a physical and high-paced Section 3 Class A quarterfinal.
Sixth-seeded Central Square (11-6) has now won two playoff games in the past three days, including a 7-0 first-round triumph over Indian River on Wednesday — which represented the first sectional victory in the program’s history.
“It feels really good, this year was first sectional win I think like in ages,” Herrmann, a senior midfielder, said. “So coming off our win against Indian River and to come out here it feels real good to be moving on.”
The third-seeded Cyclones, who went undefeated in the FL, finish at 12-3-2.
“We played them two years ago and their best players were sophomores then, so they’re seniors now and they were ready for the game and they wanted the victory pretty bad,” Watertown coach Todd Heckman said of Central Square.
Central Square also avenged a 1-0 loss at Watertown in a 2019 Class A sectional game.
“It was a great game,” Herrmann said. “Watertown is always super physical and very fast paced. This is a great win for us.”
“Always a challenge coming up here to Watertown,” Central Square coach Jay Mucha said. “Two years ago when we came up it was a battle as well as a 1-0 game, we ended up on the losing side of that one. The boys were extra excited for this opportunity and were hoping we could put it all together.”
The Redhawks took a 1-0 lead in the 29th minute as Herrmann gained possession of the ball in the middle of the field and, after working his way past several defenders, drove the ball into the right side of the net on a shot from near the top of the goal mouth.
“We came out here and played as hard as we could, our defense played great,” Cyclones senior midfielder Matt Cole said. “We just got unlucky a couple times, just made a couple mistakes.”
“We know Watertown is an excellent team, they always are,” Mucha said. “So it was just a matter of taking advantage of a couple opportunities that we had.”
Central Square built a 2-0 lead as, after a teammate just missed the net with a drive, Alex Maciariello knocked in a loose ball off an attempted clear by a Watertown defender with 16 minutes and 25 seconds remaining in regulation.
“I think the ball kind of kicked out and Alex was just in the right spot at the right time, and had a good touch on the ball and was able to place it well,” Mucha said.
“It’s a tough one, I don’t have a lot of words for it, really,” Heckman said. “Just, they played great throughout the season and it was a tough loss.”
Freshman goalkeeper Andrew Watrous made seven saves to record the shutout to post his second straight postseason gem after making four stops against Indian River.
“We had some chances,” Cole said. “We didn’t have many shots, but we created a lot on a few corners. It’s just unfortunate.”
The hard-fought game also resulted in six yellow cards being assessed, four by Central Square.
“There was a fast pace and it was just a good battle, both teams were very hungry this evening and we feel privileged to be on the winning side again this week,” Mucha said.
“It’s a quarterfinal sectional game and we expect a high level of intensity throughout the game and that’s the way it played out,” Heckman said.
Watertown sophomore goalie Devin Connell finished with five saves.
“Our team, we really like building up from the back, moving balls quick,” Herrmann said. “We really like attacking, getting forward and with that combined physical effect, it just made for a really good game.”
The Cyclones went 9-0-1 in winning the league’s “A” Division title.
“We had a great season, undefeated Frontier League champs,” Heckman said. “We had a good result against Liverpool and two good games against South Jefferson, so we had a real good season.”
Watertown recorded 10 shutouts, allowing only 10 goals in 16 games heading into the playoffs.
The Cyclones’ current roster includes 14 underclassmen, seven of which were in the starting lineup Friday night.
“Devin, Marcus (Cole), Jack (Rathbun), we’ve got a few guys who are a core group of kids, they’re really solid,” Cole said. “I’m looking forward to watching them in the future.”
BELLEVILLE HENDERSON 4, MATER DEI ACADEMY 0
Kyle Moyer scored twice as the second-seeded Panthers blanked the No. 7 Saints in a Class D quarterfinal at Belleville.
Spencer Sheldon and Hayden Allen also recorded goals, while Jeremy McGrath posted eight saves for Belleville Henderson (15-0), which plays No. 3 Manlius-Pebble Hill in a semifinal 7 p.m. Wednesday at Mexico High School.
DERUYTER 4, LYME 3 (OT)
The fourth-seeded Rockets (14-2) edged the fifth-seeded Indians (11-4) in a Class D quarterfinal at DeRuyter.
MARCELLUS 1, GENERAL BROWN 0
Landon Kelly netted the game’s only goal as the No. 13 Mustangs outlasted the No. 12 Lions in a Class B second-round game at Dexter.
Adam Sullivan turned aside eight shots for Marcellus (7-8-2). Tucker Rosbrook recorded 14 saves for General Brown (8-9-1).