The 2016 Buffalo & District Soccer League season is now in the books, with five champions crowned across all divisions. Only one of the title games went to penalty kicks, although two of the other four were decided by a single goal.
Here are the rundowns, with plenty of photos, of the five matches on Sunday at Nichols:
Amherst Sharpshooters 2, SoHo FC 2 (Sharpshooters win, 5-3, on penalty kicks)
Quick sum: After going down 1-0 early on a header by Sharpshooters' Eric Brodfuehrer, SoHo FC responded with two goals of their own; Ryan Mangano and Andy Tiedt both capitalized on rare defensive miscues from Amherst.
Teenager Nick Szabo of the Empire Development Academy was opportunistic in setting up Mangano's strike, splitting the center backs with a pass after picking off a clearance.
Justin Hofschneider, who assisted on Brodfuehrer's goal and then lost a contact lens shortly thereafter, brought Sharpshooters back level 10 minutes from time, though, after a rushed contact delivery.
Defender Keith Braun jumped into the offensive third, received a pass back at the edge of the 18-yard box, then swung a cross in with his left to Hofschneider's head at the back stick, where the veteran Sharpshooter redirected his header past Bryan Staniszewski.
The overtime periods lacked drama, resulting in penalty kicks as the sun set over Nichols. The teams were even after three rounds -- Brandon Loncar, Brendan Lawler and Hofschneider all converted for Amherst, while Frank Butcher, Tiedt and Szabo coolly beat Adam Durst.
After a calm make by Regan Steele, who arrived late in the second half due to coaching obligations, SoHo's fourth shooter was denied by Durst, who guessed correctly to his left and smothered the ball.
Sharpshooters' R.J. Grampp then stepped forward and slotted the ball past Staniszewski, clinching the premier trophy for Amherst in dramatic fashion.
East Aurora FC 3, Buffalo Bantu 0
Quick sum: An outstanding match from Ryan Keller pushed East Aurora FC to its third consecutive playoff title, as the long-haired dynamo scored the eventual game-winning goal and added two helpers on tallies from Joe Vucic and Vinny Chimento.
Keller's first-half goal, a strike high to the near post, was the result of a pretty pass from Parker Healy, who originally wasn't expected to play due to injury.
With East Aurora's center backs Shane Healy and Michael Jackson staving off the potent No. 2 seed's forays forward, the white and blue found another, as Vucic buried his BDSL-high sixth goal of the playoffs.
Then Bantu got in their own way, as Hassan Sabtow earned a straight red card for a dangerous retaliation against Myles Taylor after winning a free kick shortly after halftime.
Chimento put the icing on the proverbial cake to seal the most lopsided scoreline of Championship Sunday.
Panthers 3, Williamsville Willies 1
Quick sum: The gutsiest result came from top-seeded Panthers, who showed up to the final with only 11 players, missing key attackers Jerome and Alex Lee Yaw, as well as midfield stalwarts Mark Howlett and Francesco Cardillo.
Nick Bossert took the much-younger Willies by surprise, scoring inside of five minutes, while a nifty run on the left side and roofed shot from Matt Cordovani answered a goal from Williamsville's fleet-footed striker Jeff Bellinger around the 20-minute mark.
The second half saw Panthers tirelessly fighting to protect the one-goal advantage, as keeper Matt Smith was called upon for a few crucial saves, and veteran center back Eric Clark was often well-positioned for clearances.
When Bellinger rounded Clark, who was forced to drag down the Willies' striker to prevent a prime chance, it looked like Williamsville would equalize, but the ensuing penalty kick was wide to the right.
Justin Bigham, whose work-rate was one of the unheralded reasons for Panthers' win, sprinted forward on a counter attack and received a lofted through ball from Cordovani. Bigham wisely took his chance early, knocking the ball over the Willies' keeper from outside the 18-yard box to put the nail in the coffin.
Pendleton United 3, Crimson Fire FC 1
Quick sum: Goals from K.J. Maldiner and Chris Kufchak staked Pendleton to an early lead over Crimson Fire, who were forced to play without starting goalkeeper Dylan Guarino due to a red-card suspension, but the Altman-Cosgroves' side made it interesting as D'Youville College's Dan Tarbell dashed to the end-line and crossed with his left to Jamie Asbach, who knocked his shot off the right post and in.
With that goal, Tarbell and Asbach evenly split 30 goals this season, easily the most among two teammates in the entire BDSL.
The Lions iced the match in the second half, as Michael Wright sneaked in behind the Crimson defense and touched the ball past Nate Mackowski, Crimson's fill-in keeper.
Pendleton's goalkeeper, Sam Del Prince, played the majority of the match with a broken wrist suffered in the first half.
FK Bosna 2, Dutch FC 1
Quick sum: The Bosnian community who showed up to support their BDSL side at Nichols had reason to celebrate, as the No. 3 seed pulled an upset behind goals from Robertson David and Edin Asipi.
Bosna defender Emmanuel Iheke was a difference-making ball-winner in the back, while holding center mid Admir Kadric spurred his team to victory, playing through injury and motivating his teammates as they killed off the game late.
David was a thorn in Dutch's side throughout the afternoon down the right wing, while tireless work from forwards Smajil Mulahmetovic and Serhiyy Kurovsky gave the Bosnian defense enough of a breather to ward off Dutch's several services into the box.
Email Ben Tsujimoto, who keeps finding rubber pellets from the turf in odd places, at email@example.com