Nov 18, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Everything turned out ideal for the Westhill boys soccer team – except the last chapter of its stirring 2013 narrative.
The Warriors made it all the way to Sunday’s state Class B championship game at Middletown High School, only to run into a tough, effective opponent in Carle Place (Section VIII) and take a 3-0 defeat to the Frogs, who won its first-ever state title.
Fresh off its 2-1 win over state no. 1-ranked Livonia in the state semifinal the day before, Westhill found itself a single victory from earning the second state title in program history.
Getting it meant beating Carle Place, who had beaten Ichabod Crane 3-1 in the other semifinal. It also meant another morning kickoff, though this time it was on the grass field at Middletown, and played amid rainy conditions far different than the warm sunshine of the day before.
Again, the first half was mostly a quiet one, the two sides probing, but not finding anything as the tension of a championship game started to build.
All of that changed in the 29th minute when the Frogs’ Dylan Klein took over. Even with a Westhill defender draped over him, Klein positioned himself as teammate George Kotsidis sped down the right side and then crossed to Klein, who one-timed it past Chris Burrows.
So Westhill trailed 1-0, just as it had against Livonia. But this time around, there would be no answer as the Warriors kept meeting fierce resistance every time it tried to establish its attack against the Frogs’ defense late in the half.
Then, less than four minutes into the second half, Carle Place doubled its margin off a corner kick where Klein crossed and Robert Posillico flung it home. As if that wasn’t enough, Klein returned in the 57th minute to put in the third and final goal.
Other that a couple of shots that hit the crossbar, Westhill could not get close to finding the scoreboard, and as the game ended disappointment set in, Warrior players unable to hold back tears as a state championship slipped away.
Still, when it was done, Westhill could look back on a 20-2 campaign that, instead of ending in the regional round as it did in 2012, went all the way to the last Sunday of the season.
No less than 13 seniors will graduate, including the likes of Burrows, Barak BenYehuda, Tom Kinsella, Mike MacKnight, Matt Perry, Fletcher Chapin, Jared Ristoff, Matt Torak, Mike Parasczak and Alex Skeele, carrying with them a towering legacy of success that wasn’t tarnished one bit by a defeat at the very end.