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Last updated
06-15-17 11:10 AM
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Elmira District Boys Soccer
Derek Hamilton
(607) 735-3100 x4128
933 Hoffman Street
Elmira, New York

Welcome to Elmira District Boys Varsity Soccer!! Home of the Express!!

This is a site dedicated to the Boys' Varsity Soccer team for the Elmira City School District in Elmira, New York. The team is a member of the Southern Tier Athletic Conference (STAC) and participates in the West Division.  Elmira is also a member of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA).

NYSSWA Final State Ranking - 2006 (#10), 2007 (#19), 2010 (#16) 

STAC West Division Champions - 2002 (Co-Champions), 2007 , 2008, 2012 (Co-Champions) 

STAC Finalists - 2008

STAC Champions - 2008

#1 Seed in Section IV Tournament - 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012 (shared) 

NYSPHSAA Section IV Finalist - 1988, 1989, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2010 , 2013 

NYSPHSAA Section IV Champions - 1989, 2006, 2010 

                                        Southern Tier Athletic Conference

STAC West                     STAC Metro               STAC Central               STAC East
Elmira District (AA)                Vestal (A)                       Johnson City (A)                Oneonta (B)      
Horseheads (AA)                     Binghamton (AA)              Susquehanna Valley (B)        Chennango Forks (B)
Corning District (AA)              Union-Endicott (A)        Owego (A)                          Chennango Valley (B)
Ithaca (AA)                      Maine-Endwell (A)        Seton Catholic (C)                     Windsor (B)
                                                                                                                                   Norwich (B)

Friday, October 7
Horseheads boys edge Elmira to end regular season

Photo by Star-Gazette

Andrew Legare , @SGAndrewLegare 10:14 p.m. EDT October 6, 2016

Jarid Smith's first-half goal helped the Blue Raiders to a 1-0 victory in their final game before sectionals.


Scoring chances were at a premium Thursday afternoon at Horseheads High School. Fortunately for the Blue Raiders, sophomore midfielder Jarid Smith delivered when opportunity knocked.

Smith scored on a chip shot that was partially deflected by Elmira High School goalie Luke Baldwin before finding its way into the net with 22 minutes left in the opening half, sending Horseheads to a 1-0 victory on Senior Day. Jacob Orban set Smith up with an assist.

“We did the right thing at the right time. It’s the way we try and play,” Horseheads head coach Mark Mucci said. “That was the one case today where we played the offense the right way and we were rewarded for it. We had a couple of other chances.”

The defense did the rest, holding Elmira to four shots as Horseheads finished the regular season with a 6-4-4 record.

Up next for the Blue Raiders, following a break of more than a week, will be the Section 4 Class AA Tournament. Mucci said the rest will come in handy, with some starters missing from the lineup Thursday because of injuries.

“I thought we had a good effort,” Mucci said. “I think we’ve played better all year than we did today. I don’t know if it was the field being in a little bad shape or what, but we’ve been able to possess the ball better than we did today. In the end, we got the victory, we kept the shutout. Defensively I thought we played great as a team. That was important going into sectionals.” 

The Raiders already had secured a sectional berth coming into the week, their first postseason appearance in three years. That made the regular-season finale far less stressful than the last two seasons.

“I was happy it didn’t come down to the last two or three games like it has for me every year because the last two years, it’s come down to the last game and we’ve tied them and we’ve lost sectionals by half a game,” Mucci said. “To get the victory and already have secured sectionals, it’s a good day overall.”

Horseheads had a shot at an insurance goal with eight minutes left after Elmira was called for a handball inside the goalie box, but the penalty kick from Isaac Pastel went wide left.

Raiders goalie Tyler Morehouse made four saves. Elmira tried to push players up in the closing minutes to pressure Morehouse but still failed to produce a quality scoring chance.

“I didn’t think either team had a lot of scoring opportunities today,” Elmira head coach Derek Hamilton said. “I think it was mostly a midfield battle, transition. But they got that goal in the first half. We came out a little soft, a little weak. You’re fighting uphill when you give up that goal that early.”

The Express dropped to 2-8-3 during a frustrating week that saw Elmira’s hopes for a sectional playoff spot disappear. Elmira tied Maine-Endwell, 2-2, on Tuesday after taking a 2-0 lead into halftime.

On the positive side, Elmira’s young lineup has shown improvement. Hamilton said he would just like to see a full 80 minutes of spirited play, something that was again missing Thursday.

“We have such a young team, it’s tough to get them going sometimes,” he said. “We played much better in the second half today. Sometimes with the young guys, it just takes a little while to get them going. I think that’s what’s happened all season. We’ve been a tale of two seasons. The first half of the year we weren’t so good, and the second half we were very competitive with everybody. I think that’s just the maturation for a young squad.”

Elmira has a chance to end the season on an upbeat note Tuesday, when it travels to Union-Endicott. The teams played to a tie in their first meeting this season.

“We didn’t come out with the most intensity today,” Hamilton said. “I challenged them and I said, ‘Hey, listen, if you want to show pride, you come out and play well Tuesday in a match that really doesn’t matter to us. That’s pride. That’s pride in yourself and that’s pride in the program.’ Hopefully, we can find it on Tuesday.”

Follow @SGAndrewLegare on Twitter.

Photo by Star-Gazette

Monday, October 3
Express Blanks Binghamton

Boys soccer

Elmira 1, Binghamton 0: Noah Sperduto's first-half goal off a Cody Wright assist held up as Elmira picked up its second win of the season with a home victory over Southern Tier Athletic Conference foe Binghamton.

Luke Baldwin had seven saves for the Express (2-7-2).

Elmira Scoring - Sperduto (1-0), Hill (0-1)

Shots/Corners - Elmira (14-4), Binghamton (7-4)

Saves - Elmira (Baldwin-7), Binghamton (Felder-13)  

Friday, September 16
HS Roundup: Elmira, Horseheads boys play to soccer tie

Andrew Legare, @SGAndrewLegare 9:42 p.m. EDT September 15, 2016

Nick Juan scored for Horseheads and Walker Moss netted a goal for Elmira on Thrusday as the teams played to a 1-1 tie in a Southern Tier Atheltic Conference game.

Juan's goal, which was assisted by Kellen Boyles, came after he split the defenders before beating the goalie to the right side.

Moss scored the tying goal with 11 minutes remaining off an assist from Luke Baldwin.

Express goalie Luke Baldwin made 12 saves.  Horseheads (3-1-2) had a 13-3 edge in shots on goal.

Elmira Scoring - Moss (1-0), Baldwin (0-1)

Horseheads Scoring - Juan (1-0), Boyles (0-1)

Shots/Corners - Elmira (3-2), Horseheads (13-3)

Saves - Horseheads (Morehouse-2), Elmira (Baldwin-12) 

Friday, September 9
HS Roundup: Express boys rally for first win

Photo by The Corning Leader
Andrew Legare, Elmira 9:57 p.m. EDT September 8, 2016

Two goals from freshman Noah Sperduto lifted the Elmira boys soccer team to its first win, 2-1, over Corning.

 Freshman Noah Sperduto scored the first two goals of his varsity career in the second half Thursday night as the Elmira boys soccer team rallied for its first win, 2-1, over Southern Tier Athletic Conference foe Corning at Corning Memorial Stadium.

Sperduto scored the tying goal with about 20 minutes left, then netted the winner with eight minutes to go off a feed from Jasio Ziembicki. Express head coach Derek Hamilton described it as a “fantastic” goal, with Sperduto beating two defenders off the dribble before finishing.

“He had great composure in the box,” Hamilton said.

Paul Milliken added an assist for Elmira, which improved to 1-3.

“We have such a young team that I think the win does more for us than simply getting three points,” Hamilton said. “It lifts our spirits and shows we can play with anybody.”

Cam Metarko scored for Corning (2-2).

Elmira Scoring - Sperduto (2-0), Paul Milliken (0-1), Ziebecki (0-1)

Corning Scoring - Metarko (1-0)

Shots/Corners - Elmira (11-1), Corning (9-3)

Saves - Elmira (Baldwin - 8), Coring (Ekstrom - 9) 


 Elmira outlasts Corning, 2-1


CORNING - The Hawks had the lead at halftime, but Elmira had the lead when the final horn sounded in its 2-1 win over Corning Thursday at Memorial Stadium.

In a game played in rain and drizzle, the Hawks grabbed the lead in the first half on a Cameron Metarko goal.

“The ball bounced off their keeper and he was there to finish,” Corning head coach Steve Mastronardi said.

According to Mastronardi, the wet conditions didn’t factor in the outcome.

“The rain made it slippery, but we’re not using that as an excuse,” he said. “The rain didn’t play the pivotal role.”

Elmira keeper Luke Baldwin’s 17 saves was the difference, Mastronardi said.

“We had opportunities, but just didn’t finish tonight,” he said. “Their keeper made some nice saves when he needed to.”

In the second half, Elmira (1-3) got its tying goal off the foot of Gavin Wise. Then with 10 minutes remaining, Noah Speduto got into a one-on-one situation with Corning’s keeper and made it pay off.

Erik Ekstrom tallied four saves for the Hawks.

Corning (2-2) will travel to Binghamton for a 7 p.m. contest on Tuesday

Photo by The Corning Leader

Thursday, September 8
Elmira Looking To Build Off of Youth

BOYS SOCCER: Crusaders move to 'B' after state title

Andrew Legare, @SGAndrewLegare 2:06 p.m. EDT September 4, 2016 

Southern Tier Athletic Conference

Corning: The Hawks finished second in the STAC West and were also Section 4 Class AA runners-up. Ithaca, a state semifinalist, stood in Corning's way for both championships.

Key figures back from Corning's 5-7-2 team include seniors Erik Ekstrom, Cam Metarko, Connor Nazarczyk, Trevor Kohli, Jacob Grano and Ben Terwilliger.

Other players of note include senior Mike Crouse, along with juniors Zach Dejneka, Connor Lin, Ian Howard and Gage Grottenthaler.

"Our focus will be finishing, being creative in the final third, organization on defense and mental focus," head coach Steve Mastronardi said. "Our expectation is to improve as the season progresses."

He said goalkeeping and defensive organization are among the team's strengths.

"This is a great group of players that have been working hard and learning, reviewing many concepts. STAC will be ultra-competitive as always, with many quality teams."

Elmira: Express head coach Derek Hamilton has a young team following a 4-7-3 record last season. Elmira opened this season with two losses.

"With such a young squad, the maturation process is going to have to be quick," Hamilton said. "Players acclimating themselves to the speed of the varsity game will determine our success this season. Our strength likes in the back of our formation. If we can make teams work to earn their goals, we should be a formidable opponent.

"We should be stout defensively, with a quality back four and goalkeeper that's difficult to beat. We have some quality midfielders that can dictate the speed of the game."

Veterans for Elmira include senior defender Paul Milliken, senior midfielders Chris Knuth and Walker Moss, junior defenders Nate Forrest and Pat Milliken, junior midfielder Gavin Wise, junior forward Jasio Ziembicki and sophomore goalie Luke Baldwin.

Junior defender Alex Hill, senior midfielder Cody Wright, freshman forward Noah Sperduto and junior midfielder Zane Benjamin are new to the team.

Hamilton is hoping Elmira will find its groove by the time the season reaches the stretch run.

"I would like to see a group of close individuals that have continually improved their performance throughout the season and are playing their best soccer heading into the sectional tournament," he said.

"Our youth and inexperience needs to improve quickly. We only return three seniors from last year's squad."

Horseheads: The Blue Raiders are coming off a 5-8-1 season they're hoping to build on this fall.

Isaac Pastel, a STAC Metro/West all-conference defender, returns for his senior season. Senior midfielder Matt Burlew and junior midfielder Matt Gibbons were both STAC West all-division picks last season. Also returning are senior midfielder Jordan McCreary, senior forwards Nick Juan and Kellen Boyles, senior defender Evan Kuhl and senior goalie Tyler Morehouse.

"We have a strong senior presence on the team," head coach Mark Mucci said. "They keep the team focused and provide leadership for the younger players on the squad."

Varsity additions include midfielders Jarid Smith and Connor Thorpe, along with defender Zach Church.

Mucci said the team needs to improve technically and tactically as the season progresses.

"It's a tight-knit group that works hard for each other and supports each other," he said. "Their work ethic in the offseason was outstanding as the team as a whole came into tryouts well prepared for the season ahead.

"We need to maintain discipline and our organization on defense and trust our teammates to do their jobs. We need to be smart with the ball and maintain possession so we can limit the chances by our opponents."

Follow Andrew Legare on Twitter @SGAndrewLegare.

Wednesday, June 10
Click Below to Register for the 2015 Elmira Soccer Alumni Game!!

Handout: 2015 Alumni Registration

Monday, November 21

Below are some of the best moments in EFA/Elmira Soccer history to have been caught on film:

--> Nick Lian (as a junior) scores one the best goals of his career in a 6-1 victory over Elmira Southside.  This bicycle is amazing and you get two looks at it!!


--> Ross Holden bends a fantastic free kick around a Union-Endicott wall to lead Elmira Free Academy to a 1-0 victory.


-->Justin Munson and Alex Varkatzas set the pace in a 3-0 victory over Owego in a New York State, Section IV, Class "A" Semi-Final match sending EFA to their third section final in five years!!



Monday, July 8
Elmira District Soccer Program Holding 5th Annual Soccer Camp

Where: Elmira Free Academy

When: Monday-Friday, August 12-16, 2013

Who: Boys and Girls entering grades 7-12

Cost: $80 includes five days of licensed training and a free camp T-Shirt.  **~If cost is a problem, please contact Coach Hamilton. Scholarships are available~**

Why?: All proceeds go directly to the Elmira Boys and Girls Soccer Programs


Contact Coach Hamilton at or (607) 425-2709 for a Camp Brochure and District Waiver


2012 Camp Participants

Thursday, February 7
Elmira's Varkatzas to play men's soccer at Binghamton University

image_name2 - Joe Mink - 2/7/13

ELMIRA — Soccer has always been in Alex Varkatzas’ blood.

His dad, Kostas, played professionally in Greece. And now Alex will be competing at the Division I level after he signed a letter of intent Wednesday at Elmira Free Academy to play on the men’s soccer team at Binghamton University.

Alex Varkatzas said he received a partial scholarship that can increase as he progresses through the program. He plans on majoring in business administration.

“I’m excited to join a Division I program,” he said. “It’s nice to be playing close to home

A senior at EFA, Varkatzas scored a team-record 29 goals last season as a forward for the Elmira Express, which shared the Southern Tier Athletic Conference West Division title with Corning. He finished his career with 64 goals, also a record for EFA/Elmira.

Varkatzas was named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America boys all-state third team for large schools, which includes players from classes AA and A.

The NSCAA also picked Varkatzas as a Region II all-star. That team included top players from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware.

The common theme from Alex Varkatzas, Kostas Varkatzas and Elmira coach Derek Hamilton is Alex’s love of the game.

“He’s willing to be committed to improving,” said Elmira coach Derek Hamilton.

Kostas Varkatzas, a defender during his playing days, said he started his son out at age 4.

“He started kicking the ball around. As a 6-year-old you could tell he loved the game. He did footwork from 6 to 10 and then joined a travel league,” he explained.

Hamilton recalled bringing Alex Varkatzas up to varsity as an eighth-grader for the Section 4 tournament. He ended up having so much faith in the youngster’s ability that he had him taking a penalty kick during the playoffs.

“He had a clean strike on the ball, and he was only 13. He knocked it home like he was 18,” Hamilton said.

Varkatzas is now competing on the Express boys basketball team. He said he’s played basketball since modified except for a season off as a junior because of concerns about possible injury. But he’s back on court, mostly for the conditioning.

Varkatzas said he drew interest from Syracuse, Bucknell and American University.

After college, Varkatzas said he’d like to go pro, perhaps even going to Greece.

His dad believes he can do it.

“Absolutely,” Kostas Varkatzas said. “But it will take lots of work.”


By Shawn Vargo Corning Leader

Posted Feb 06, 2013 @ 10:17 PM
Varkatzas Signs With Binghamton

Elmira’s Alex Varkatzas signed a national letter of intent to play soccer at Binghamton University at a ceremony at Elmira Free Academy Wednesday.

Varkatzas, the All-Leader Player of the Year as a senior, led the Express with 29 goals and five assists in 2012.

“This is pretty special. It has always been a goal of mine to go on to a Division I program,” Varkatzas said. “Binghamton is very nice. It’s good academically and being a part of a D-I program so close to home is nice.”

Varkatzas, who began his varsity career as an eighth grader, was a part of the final EFA squad, as well as a key cog in the new Express program. Among the other schools he was looking at were Bucknell and Syracuse.

“I think it will be a very good fit,” Elmira head coach Derek Hamilton said. “Their program’s style of play is very similar to the one we use at Elmira.
“Plus, he’s going to get a top-notch education, as well.”

Varkatzas plans on studying Business Administration.

Elmira District Boys Soccer
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