Junior Mark Makhtadze is known for his all-round skills on the football pitch, but he is also very honest. So he finally had to admit that when he scored Shenandoahova’s first goal on a bounce off the post in Monday night’s Section II Class AA championship game, it was indeed a pass.
Makhtadze scored one goal and assisted on the other as the plainsmen won their third straight AA title with a 2–0 victory over Christian Brothers Academy. Shane completely dominated the Brothers and pressed his offense behind defender Alec Sukol and goalkeeper Noah Flint.
Makhtadze gave Shenandehova the only goal she would need when her long, hooking “shot” from the far corner bounced off the post and went into the goal with 7:29 remaining in the first half.
Was he looking to score from that far? “If I said I was, I’d be lying,” he replied with a big grin. “I’ll leave it at that.”
But when put under pressure, he admitted that the plainsman’s first goal was actually a pass. “I saw Lochlen” [Clarke] on the previous post, and I tried to put this [the ball] There. But it went in, ”said Makhtadze. “I’ll claim it, but if you took the look on my face, you’d know I didn’t intend to do that. Let’s be honest.”
Makhtadze was also honest about how much victory meant to him and his teammates, who could only advance to the suburban council tournament championship last year as the pandemic wiped out regional and state competition.
“It gets better all the time,” he said. “This is my third time, and every time it gets better. We fought for 80 minutes all the way, and I’m very happy to win again. I think this win is a little bit of a relief compared to last year, and I am very happy to have received it.
Shane’s coach Jonathan Bain lauded his star player’s ability to do whatever he needed to do to win.
“Mark’s maturity level is through the roof,” Bain said. “His football IQ is very high. It can go unnoticed because he is not attractive, but he controls the game and everything happens through him. He directs the traffic. “
Bain agreed with Makhtadze that winning never gets old. “Three in a row sounds great,” he said. “It never gets old, and every victory is great. It’s such a great group of kids. They worked so hard, so doing it again is a great achievement.”
The plainsmen didn’t need another score as they were playing defensively, but Clarke basically sealed the win with 33:30 remaining in the game on Mkhtadze’s feed. The defense, led by Sukol, took care of the rest.
“That was a great win. That’s what we came here to do,” Sukol said. “As the game progressed, we thought we had a target and then they would try to throw people at us. We expected that For 80 minutes. Last time we played with him, it’s very different.” “We had to do a complete overhaul. We changed our offense and our defense. We played our way and figured out how to use everyone on the field. “
The game was a rematch of the 2020 Suburban Council Championship game, which was won by the Plainsmen 3–2.
Flint made two saves for the plainsmen, while CBA keeper John Putnam blocked 10 of Shane’s 12 shots on goal.
The top-seeded plainsmen improved to 14-0-4 on aggregate, while the CBA, the seventh-seeded and 2018 Class AA champions, finished the season 11-6-1.
Shendehowa’s players feel they have some work to do.
“We will forget about this victory” [today] And focus on regional and states, ”Makhtadze said. “We’re going all the way. That’s our mindset.”
“I know a good team is coming from Section III” [Fayetteville-Manlius]But I think we can at least reach out to the regional people,” Sukol said.
Shenendehova 2, CBA 0
Halftime: Shendehowa takes a 1-0 lead. Shenendehova Scoring: Mark Makhtadze 1-1, Lochlen Clark 1-0. Goalkeepers: CBA, John Putnam, 10 saves; Shenendehova, Noah Flint, saves 2.
reach out to bob wiener here [email protected].
More from The Daily Gazette:
Categories: high school sports, sports