GOSHEN – The Monroe-Woodbury Class AA boys and girls soccer state championship teams were celebrated by the Orange County Legislature at Thursday’s meeting at the Government Center.
The girls varsity defeated Albany-area’s Bethlehem 1-0 for the state title on Sunday, November 11th in Dryden, which is located near Cortland. Just three hours later, the Monroe-Woodbury boys varsity team put away Buffalo’s Clarence 2-0 at Faller Field in Middletown to complete the Crusaders’ historic sweep. Both teams received certificates of recognition from the Legislature and Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus.
“These championships are a tribute to both teams’ dedication, perseverance and hard work,” Chairman of the Legislature Steve Brescia said. “Winning a state championship is no easy task and it shows the character of each player and coach in the Monroe-Woodbury soccer program. These Crusaders have made their families, school and Orange County proud, and we enjoyed having the opportunity to recognize them.”
Brescia, Deputy County Executive Harry Porr, Legislators Barry Cheney, Laurie Tautel and Pete Tuohy, who all represent part of the Monroe-Woodbury School District, and Town of Monroe Supervisor Tony Cardone all addressed the teams at the ceremony.
Coached by Kenny Clearwater, the Monroe-Woodbury boys soccer team finished the season 21-0, outscoring opponents 68-5. The Crusaders are the first Section 9 (Orange, Sullivan, Ulster and part of Dutchess County) boys soccer team to win a state title since Newburgh Free Academy in 2009. The Monroe-Woodbury girls went 19-1-1, losing only to Dutchess County’s Arlington 1-0 in the fourth game of the season.
The Crusaders came back to beat Arlington 1-0 in the opening-round of the Class AA state tournament. Only two other local schools have won state girls’ soccer championships, Washingtonville (Class AA, 2012) and S.S. Seward (Class D, 1987, 2007, Class C and Class D co-title in 2008).
“I followed my alma mater’s teams closely during their exciting runs to soccer state championships and I’m proud of their accomplishments,” said Neuhaus, a 1992 Monroe-Woodbury graduate. “They represented Orange County well on and off the field and their impressive runs will always be remembered at Monroe-Woodbury. I offer the Crusaders my sincerest congratulations and also want to thank the community for embracing and supporting these student-athletes.”