Although it won’t know its next opponent until Thursday, the Spackenkill High School boys soccer team ensured its chance to win a section title on Wednesday.
Playing fourth-seeded Ellenville at Marlboro High School, the top-seeded Spartans won 2-0 in the Section 9 Class B semifinals. Third-seeded Rhinebeck’s game against second-seeded James I. O’Neill was rained out and postponed until 3 p.m. Thursday.
The final will be held at Marlboro at 2 p.m. Saturday.
“We know if it’s Rhinebeck we’ll have our hands full,” said Spackenkill coach Manny Blanco, whose Spartans improved to 16-2. “O’Neill is also tough. We just have to be ready to give it our best shot and compete.”
Spackenkill’s appearance in the Class B final was made possible by Travis Klipp and Chris Stamper. Klipp scored at 15:23 in the first half on an assist from James Hooker. Leading 1-0 after the intermission, Stamper scored 20:23 into the second half on an assist from Kenny Brahms.
“His shot was one for the film reel,” Blanco said of Stamper’s goal. “Obviously he’s always good. I thought we moved the ball really well, and being able to play on turf really helped us. We had a couple lapses here and there, but overall I thought we played well.”
Spackenkill goalie Ryan Espinoza made five saves. Blanco credited Nathan Ficht and Kai Bjork on a well-played defensive game.
“I would say Nathan and Kai were solid today, beating them to the ball,” Blanco added. “They weren’t giving them much space and their distributing out of the back was very solid.”
A.J. Martelli: [email protected], 845-437-4836, Twitter: @AJM_PoJoSports