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Falcons Sports

Fabius-Pompey Wins Class C Title

Varsity - 2008 Season
Posted Tuesday, July 14, 2009 by M.F. Piraino
Fabius-Pompey's Will Frazee (right) and Faith Heritage's Mike Last fight for the ball during the Section III Class C final Tuesday. - (Li-Hua Lan / The Post-Standard)

The Fabius-Pompey boys soccer team gave coach Mike Danaher the one thing he wanted most before retiring - a Section III championship. The third-seeded Falcons shut out defending champion Faith Heritage 1-0 Tuesday in the Class C final and presented Danaher with his 11th sectional title, the school's 14th overall. Danaher, in his 31st year as coach, is calling it quits after this season and couldn't think of a better way to end his soccer coaching career.

"This is my last one," Danaher said. "This was real special."

Danaher clapped and smiled with pride as his players ran down the West Genesee sidelines with the Section III championship banner to the roaring approval of Fabius-Pompey fans.  

"We won it for him," senior captain Gabe Esposito said. "He's a good coach. I've had him for three years now and he taught me a lot."

The ninth-ranked Falcons (15-2-3) extended Danaher's season by advancing to the state regionals. F-P, which hasn't allowed a goal in its last eight matches, will play Section IV champ Delhi (20-0) at 12:20 p.m. Saturday at Oneonta Hall of Fame Complex.

The Falcons scored the match's lone goal at the 27-minute mark in the first

half. Deep in the right corner, Brian Poole kept the ball alive working down the end line and dished off to Jacob Findlay. Findlay sent a crossing pass and Matt Feeney came in from the left side to put the ball into the back of the net.

Findlay (hamstring) and Keith Lindabury (groin), both seniors, were among the F-P players who missed matches this season because of injury.

"I'm feeling a lot better now and can't wait to go to states," Lindabury said.

Danaher said his younger players stepped up while the older kids healed during the course of the season.

"We were hurt from the get-go. We weren't at full-strength all year," Danaher said. "I'm not quite there yet but we're getting healthier by the day."

Danaher pointed to Esposito as the glue to an injury-riddled Falcon midfield. Esposito also did an admirable job keeping an eye on Faith Heritage's top playmaker, Mike Last. The Falcons held the ninth-seeded Saints to six shots on goal.

"Mike (Last) is a good player and you can't give him time to get his head up and pick where he's going to play the ball," Danaher said. "We knew we had to play him and take his game away."

"We kept holding the midfield and got it done," Esposito said.

Esposito added that Faith Heritage eliminated F-P from last year's tournament, which provided him with added incentive.

"We just took it to them and did what we had to do," Esposito said.

"We played hard, we played our game and stuck to it," Lindabury said.


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