New soccer season will bring two-year 'uber-league' trial

"We are looking to see if the geographical schedule is going to work," Karen Lopez, director of Section VII, said. "There is a hope that this new league is going to save on transportation and time both on the bus and away from school for the districts."

"I think that this is going to be great," Steven Broadwell, Willsboro Central School superintendent and president of the MVAC said. "This shows a collaborative effort between all of the schools in the north country that looked at this in terms of the best interests of soccer in the region, and I think that this is going to be very good for the sport in this area."

McAuliffe said that the new league format will also ensure that teams will have enough games to fill out a schedule.

"Many MVAC schools were having trouble getting games outside the league schedule," McAuliffe said. "This will give all teams a solid schedule of around 14 games. As a whole, this is the best thing for our sectional soccer teams."

Lopez said that the two-year trial for the new soccer league is similar to what the section did when it went into a partnership with Section X to create the Northern Conference for football, which has sent several teams deep in to the regional playoffs, including two-time state finalist Moriah and state finalist Ticonderoga.

"We will look at this at the end of two years and see if it has done everything that we were looking to accomplish," Lopez said. "We are at the point where we wanted to try this because a lot of the benefits do make sense. This is a healthy thing to look at for the section and for our school districts."

The new schedule would not feature any league championship games, with division titles determined only by the record within the set league schedule. Seeding for the Class B and Class C soccer tournaments would be determined by games within their own classification.

"We are still working out things like how all star teams would be assigned and how tiebreakers would be handled, but we are excited for this upcoming season," McAuliffe said.

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