Josh Barriere celebrates his third goal of the game against Fort Ann in the NYSPHSAA Class D championship game. Is this the best team that the storied Chazy soccer program has ever seen?
Then came the finals, a 4-0 coronation ceremony against Fort Ann out of Section II.
After these 80 minutes, gone were the memories of a 1-0 game that was dominated by the Eagles but won by Hamilton one year ago. This team had a goal to get back and avenge that loss and, while not having to go through Hamilton (which did not make it out of its own section), did just that.
It is the sixth state title for the Eagles, putting them in rarified air. Only three other teams have as many or more titles, with Southold and Shenedehowa having six and Pittsford Mendon seven.
It also puts head coach Rob McAuliffe in rarified air. While not alone at the top of the mountain, he stands with Joe Borrosh and Mike Campisi as the only two coaches to manage six teams to a state title. However, McAuliffe brought some rocks up the mountain with him in hopes of making it a little higher by collecting a seventh state title. As he said, their goal will always be to win a state title — that’s every year.
But this championship also put this team, captained by Brandon Laurin and Nathan Reynolds, in rarified air. As the game wound down, the mumble of “greatest Chazy team ever” started. McAuliffe said that they may very well be, using the 2005 team as an example. That team scored 164 goals and had 21 shutouts. This team allowed nine goals all season and was only tested twice — once by a Class B school that was a preseason favorite in Section VII and again by the second-ranked team in the state (based on the scoreboard). In Chazy, the debate has begun.
What cannot be debated is that this, more than any other, was Chazy’s year. They had the team, they had the coaching and now they have to sew in a sixth star to the uniforms.