Having earned one championship three-peat in the Section III Class B ranks, the Westhill boys soccer team went in pursuit of another at the regional level – and got it.
On Saturday, the Warriors faced Section IV champion Oneonta in the Yellowjackets’ backyard at the Wright National Soccer Complex in the Class B regional final.
Seeking a third straight trip to the state final four, the Warriors got there with an emphatic performance, with four goals in the game’s first 48 minutes as it put away Oneonta 4-1.
Any possible nerves dissipated when, just 2:16 into the game, Adam Herne flashed open and, taking a pass from Bo BenYehuda, put it past Yellowjackets goalie Brad Morell.
In the 16th minute, BoYehuda again found Herne, and once more Herne found the net, making it 2-0. Only great work in goal by Morell kept the Warriors from adding to that margin before halftime.
Yet any doubts about the outcome dissipated in the first seven minutes of the second half. That’s how long it took Charlie Bolesh to chime in with a third goal and for Braden Krzykowski to pounce on a rebound for Westhill’s fourth goal.
Things got contentious in the latter stages, and an Oneonta player was sent off with two yellow cards. Still, down to 10 players, it broke up the Warriors’ shutout when Brad Jacobs scored with 9:49 left.
Still, it’s a third straight trip for Westhill to the state final four at Middletown High School, where it could not quite claim the state title in 2016 and 2017.
This time around, the Warriors are facing Section II champion Schalmont in the semifinals at 11 a.m. next Saturday. The winner goes to next Sunday’s final against East Aurora (Section VI) or Briarcliff (Section I). Westhill is still in search of a second state championship to go with the one it earned back in 1992.