by Frank Aceto
Associate Sports Editor
Hudson -- If the contest took place 10 to 15 years ago, this might have been a state final matchup.
Former state boys soccer champions Hudson and Walsh Jesuit took the field in a Division I sectional title contest.
Although neither team is considered a state power any longer, the contest lived up to its billing.
In the end, the Explorers had the final say.
Third-seeded Hudson advanced to the Division I district semifinals after posting a 1-0 victory over the Warriors in overtime Oct. 19 at Hudson Memorial Stadium.
With the win, the Explorers are scheduled to visit top-seeded Aurora, a 7-0 winner over Warren Harding, Oct. 23 at 7 p.m. The Greenmen, a 2012 state semifinalist, earned a 1-0 win over Hudson in last year's district title game.
Although Hudson (10-4-3) had possession for much of the afternoon, the game was scoreless after 80 minutes.
"We're not done yet," Explorers' junior Matt Wallace said. "One of our goals is to get to the district championship ."
Wallace and junior defender Michael Charlton made sure Hudson got closer to its goal.
With 1 minute, 35 seconds left in overtime, the Explorers got a free kick about 25 yards away from Walsh's goal and junior forward Trevor Colazzo was set to take it.
Colazzo ran over the ball and Wallace ended up taking the kick.
Wallace lifted a high ball toward the right side of the goal. As the ball fell from the sky, Warriors' junior goalkeeper Max Pivonka moved out of the goal to try to get a hand on Wallace's kick.
He was a fraction of a second too late.
The 6-foot-3 Charlton got his head on the ball and headed it into the lower left corner of the net.
"Matt, Trevor and [junior midfielder] Jack [Sullivan] told me to look for the ball," Charlton said. "Obviously, I have some height. It was something we've worked on in practice."
Hudson first-year head coach Kelsey Resnick, who was a member of the Explorers' team that won a state title, knew Wallace sent the ball to the right player.
"It's nice to have a big target like Michael who is willing to throw his body around and sacrifice for the team," Resnick said.
Prior to the goal, both teams played an artistic game that featured lots of short passes, fancy dribbling and most of all, stalwart defense.
For the most part, though, Hudson dictated the pace.
Although the Explorers kept the ball in Walsh's end for a majority of the game, Hudson had very few clean shots, thanks to the Warriors' defense.
The Explorers had a golden opportunity to score when Sullivan took a penalty kick with 7 minutes, 26 seconds remaining in the second half.
Sullivan's shot into the upper left corner was punched out by Pivonka. Colazzo got the rebound in the box, but his hard shot also was saved by Pivonka.
"We were knocking on the door the whole game," Resnick said. "I think their heads were down shortly [after the penalty kick], but they bounced back. It was nice to come out on top."
Hudson had a 10-3 advantage in shots on goal and a 7-3 edge in corner kicks. Explorers' senior goalkeeper finished with three saves. Walsh ended the season with a 6-9-3 record.