COLONIE Kledis Capollari was a young man of mixed emotions Monday night.
On the one hand, he was happy to help Guilderland win its first Section II Class AA boys soccer title in five years. On the other hand, it came against an Albany team he had a close connection to.
Capollari scored a goal and assisted on two more to lift the Dutchmen (15-4-0) to a 4-1 victory over the Falcons in the Sectional championship game at Colonie Central High School.
But after celebrating with his Guilderland teammates and fellow students, Capollari had nothing but hugs and words of encouragement for the Albany teammates he left behind when he transferred to the Suburban Council school as a freshman.
"I've known all these (Albany) guys for a long time. We came up together," said Capollari. "These (Guilderland) kids have been brothers to me ever since I transferred over four years ago, but I'm still close with those guys."
Capollari had been one of the Dutchmen's top scorers during the regular season, but he was fairly silent through the first two playoff games as he managed one goal in wins over Niskayuna and Shaker.
That changed in Monday's final. Capollari assisted on Connor Rubin's goal less than eight minutes into the first half that gave Guilderland a quick 2-0 lead. Then with Albany trailing 2-1 and applying consistent pressure on Guilderland's defense, Capollari broke free on a counterattack and fed Keagan Ciaschetti for a key insurance goal with 27:05 left in the second half.
Capollari provided the finishing touch himself late in the second half when he redirected Connor O'Brien's free kick past Albany goaltender Lucas Phayre-Gonzalez to give the Dutchmen a three-goal cushion.
"Connor O'Brien played a great ball in, and I happened to be there to knock it in," said Capollari.