MIDDLETOWN — Rob McAuliffe now stands alone.
McAuliffe became the first NYSPHSAA boys’ soccer coach to win seven state championships when his Chazy Eagles and Jasper-Troupsburg Wildcats battled to a grueling 1-all overtime tie in Sunday’s Class D championship game at Middletown High School.
After playing 110 minutes of soccer, the two teams were declared co-state champions.
In typical fashion, McAuliffe would only talk about his players.
“I can’t be any prouder of this team,” he said. “There were so many reasons for us not to be here this season. But this group was determined to be state champions.
“I’ve said all along that this isn’t the most talented team we’ve had at Chazy. But I will always remember this group because I’ve never coached a team more determined and who worked this hard.”
Chazy standout Josh Barriere, who scored the Eagles’ lone goal Sunday, was more than willing to talk about his coach.
“Coach never gives up on our team and is always encouraging us,” Barriere said. “He’s very thoughtful and unselfish. He never takes credit for how well we do and it’s all about the players with him.
“He is irreplaceable to our program and we couldn’t do this without him.”
The Eagles (17-1-4) left everything on the field Sunday.
Chazy had to overcome fatigue and injuries in overtime to hold on against a very good Jasper-Troupsburg team. The Section V champions pressured Chazy to the end.
The Eagles, however, nearly had a golden chance to win it with four minutes left in the first 15-minute overtime when Zach Brothers, who was chosen as Chazy’s Most Valuable Player, bobbed and weaved his way through the Wildcat defense into the box only to be hauled down. The officials, however, chose not to blow the whistle for a penalty kick.