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Westhill beats Caz in Class B soccer final

Undefeated Warriors rally past Lakers 2-1

— The game featured fierce competition from the start. Ben Yehuda missed high on a shot less than two minutes into the game before Modzeleski put the Lakers on the board, striking his 25-yard score from the left side into the bottom-right corner and past diving Westhill goalkeeper Chris Burrows.

The Warriors hadn’t trailed often this season, but they responded well. Reserve Alex Skeele crossed in a ball from the right side which Ben Yehuda volleyed into the top-right corner from 20 yards out.

“We never put our heads down,” Ben Yehuda said. “As soon as their goal went in, we all picked each other up.”

Ben Yehuda almost had another goal moments later when Jackson Haber chipped him a pass 12 yards out. Ben Yehuda connected on the header, but Cazenovia goalie Chris Matteson was up to the challenge.

Burrows denied Modzeleski in the 18th minute before beating Peter Burr to a loose ball in the box in the 24th minute. A Modzeleski header zipped just outside the right post in the 32nd minute as the teams entered halftime tied, 1-1.

That didn’t last long, though. Off a goal kick early in the second half, Westhill midfielder Owen Hennigan found Powell on a thru ball left side. Powell slipped the shot past a charging Matteson and into the net.

“They showed some resiliency getting back into it, fighting back, Westhill head coach Tom Etoll said. “The goal in the first half was very important because we haven’t been down that often this year.”

But Cazenovia didn’t go quietly. Burrows punched away another Modzeleski shot in the 60th minute before swatting the ensuing corner.

The Lakers got another three corners in the final 20 minutes. Brody Kellish drew two free kicks from 35 yards out on fouls by Haber and Hennigan. Forward Sam Fellows had a clear look from 25 yards out. But despite their best efforts, the Lakers were unable to find an equalizer.

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