News Based on facts, either observed and verified directly by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.
By Ray Gallagher, Examiner Sports Editor @Directrays
You just can’t say enough about undefeated, state-ranked (No.1) BRIARCLIFF and its defense of the Bears’ Section 1 Class B title as they continue to stomp and romp. At 12-0 after wins against Pleasantville, Blind Brook and Rye Neck, Coach Brandon Beck’s club is doing it on both sides of the ball, averaging three goals per game while allowing under one.
With All-NYS senior D Miles Prosperino anchoring the back line and lethal finisher Emilio Abud Chalita (13G, 2A) being featured on attack, the balanced Bears are feeling it.
“It has been a tremendous season for the boys,” Bears Coach Brandon Beck said. “They have worked incredibly hard in every training session and game. We have been determined all season to improve upon last year’s section title and our loss on penalty kicks in the regional semis. However, we have to go through the gauntlet of Section 1 soccer, and we know that is a very difficult task ahead. I am incredibly proud of these young men. They show up every single day hungry to improve, they facilitate their own video analysis sessions, and we have a team full of leaders. The journey ahead is not easy, but we look forward to the challenge together as a family.”
VALHALLA Coach Sandro Prosperino has had a unique view of the situation, loving the fact that his nephew Miles is prospering as one of the state’s foremost players, while taking it on the chin twice at the hands of the Bears.
“Miles is a big-time baller,” Coach Prosperino said.
In the Bears 4-1 win over PLEASANTVILLE, Connor Dornau (2G), Abud Chalita (1G, 1A) and Ethan Anisman all found the back of the net. Prosperino and Dan Antin each dished an assist while G Toby Young made five saves. Erik Nanaj scored from Kai Martens-Wallace for the Panthers (4-6).
“The Pleasantville defensive effort was commendable, but we were able to break through,” Briacliff Assistant Coach Paul Bordanaro said. “In the second half, Abud Chalita found the back of the net himself along with teammate Ethan Anisman a short time later.”
The Briarcliff win sealed the Bears’ fifth league championship in the past seven seasons.
The Bears also defeated Blind Brook, 1-0, one the strength of a Sebastian Rohde goal from Ethan Anisman. Young (5 saves) had the cleanest of sheets, turned a PK away in the final 10 minutes to truly strut.
In other Class B action, WESTLAKE bounced Pleasantville by a 2-1 count when Collin Lyden and Jack Jaime each tickled twine and G Jozsef Varardi turned aside five shots for the Wildcats (6-5-1), who have a brotherly connection between Thomas Lyden (12G, 5A) and Collin Lyden (3G, 10A). Westlake also tied Rye Neck 0-0.
Valhalla got it going with a 4-2 win over Blind Brook when Matthew Del Gatto (11G, 3) scored twice from Luka Pandzic (1G) and Ian Silvero (3G, 7A). Mikaele Martinez scored another from Del Gatto.
Valhalla’s 5-1 win over Woodlands featured goals from Marcelo Freire (from Del Gatto), a hat trick for Del Gatto (from Julian Amorosa) and one from Brandon Eugui (from Pandzic).
“It’s been a season of peaks and valleys but we’ve turned a corner with our last two victories,” Valhalla Coach Sandro Prosperino said. “I’m proud of our boys with how they have persevered through adversity. Lucas Signes continues to put the team first and play out of position and plug in a huge need at defense. Matthew Del Gatto has had a breakout season with his 16 goals in 13 games, and Luka Pandzic is irreplaceable as our workhorse in the middle of the field. Ian Silvero’s selfless play is evident in his stat line as our assist leader.”
In one of the best games of the season, OSSINING knocked off HORACE GREELEY, 3-2 in overtime Thursday. In an intense game that will help prepare both clubs for the postseason, the Pride’s Gabriel Robinson tied the game on a breakaway goal at 69:37 of the second half and junior Alex Lenaghan sent a hyped Senior Day crowd home happy with a PK in overtime for the win. The Pride’s Brian Rivera scored just 2:31 into the game for a 1-0 lead but Quakers Jesse LaRosa (off a PK) and Jack Muns spotted the 5-7-1 Quakers a 2-1 lead with just over 7:00 to play in the first half.
Ossining also posted a 3-2 win over WHITE PLAINS as the Pride improved to 9-2 behind two goals from Brando Tuba 2G, another from Gabe Robinson and two assists from Josh Del Cid.
Francesco Giglio scored twice for the Tigers (5-6-2), who shut out Lincoln, 8-0, when Jorge Ordonez (2G), Rai Quispe, Giglio, Adrian Ramos, James Salas, Piero Jauler and Oliver Cortes all scored on the Lancers, who were also crushed by FOX LANE, 6-0. Dex Osherow and Adrian Sudol both scored twice for the Foxes (5-6) while Fredy Contreras and Daniel Sorto scored once.
Class AA CARMEL had a big week with wins over John Jay EF (2-1) and Poughkeepsie (7-0). Against the patriots, Christian Matera and Alex Kozlowicz scored for the Rams (6-4-2), who are led by Neel Walia (7G, 5A) and look like a tough playoff club.
BYRAM HILLS has been seeking a statement win and it got just that in a 2-1 win over host YORKTOWN when the Bobcat connection between Chris Amenedo (2G) and Billy Gillespie (2A) hooked up twice before backup G Wes Woodworth came off the bench with a diving save with five minutes left to save the day for the undefeated Bobcats (7-0-3), who haven’t exactly played the toughest slate of games this season but will see Somers this week. Yorktown’s Cameron Santos – assisted by Nick Pozo – scored for the reigning Class AA champion Huskers (5-7). Freshman G Jozef Popovic had nine saves in the loss but showed a ton of future promise.
“This was a tough loss,” Yorktown Coach Zoran Milojevic admitted. “We had momentum going into the second half and just couldn’t finish our chances early in the second half.”
Yorktown improved to 5-7 when the Huskers rebounded to knock off BREWSTER, 2-0, after a scoreless first half. Colin Worden – assisted by Antonio Frucco – and Nick Pozo – from Worden – were able to solve Brewster keeper Jeffery Perez-Cruz (14 saves).
The Huskers added another W over John Jay CR, 2-1, behind a pair of tallies from sniper Nick Varela, who tied the score with 21 minutes to play before hitting the game-winning goal three minutes later.
The aforementioned SOMERS checked in this week with a No.13 NYS Class AA ranking but suffered a one-goal loss to No.3 Eastchester in a battle of heavyweights before rebounding with a pair of wins over John Jay CR (5-0), Brewster (5-0) and Lakeland (3-1) to close out the week.
Despite the loss to Eastchester, the Tuskers remain solid Class AA contenders with a lights-out connection between Brady Leitner (15G, 2) and Lucas Arbelaez (2G, 10A).
“I would definitely say that Lucas and I have a great connection both on and off the field,” Leitner said. “It started in the club season during the spring and we instantly started to connect with each other as our play styles definitely complement one another. The goals are all team effort, I mean whether I’m playing on the wing or centrally I am surrounded by a bunch of talent that always helps set me up for shots on goal and it’s just my job to put those chances away. I feel like making that special playoff run is a goal for all teams. We are just trying to stay focused one game at a time and make sure all our players are staying healthy and ready to go.”
Against John Jay, Leitner (3G), Arbelaez (1G) and Daniel Cho all scored while G Matt D’Ippolito notched another shutout (8).
Somers also blanked BREWSTER, 5-0, behind a pair from Manny Perez and single marks from Leitner (1A); Hyugo Todo and Daniel Nikac. The Tuskers ended the week with a 3-1 win over LAKELAND behind goals from Nate Cohen (1A), Leitner and Perez. Lakeland (8-4-1) saw CM Connor Daly score twice in a 2-0 win over HEN HUD. Silvio Ahmataj (10G, 4A) is filling the nets for the Hornets.
PANAS has been sneaky good this season and the Panthers (6-5-1) snuck up on PEEKSKILL for a 5-nil win when Alex Guevara (2G), Daniel Coello, Jahncarlos Ortiz and Jake Burns all scored off assists from Saadiq Henry, Jake Burns, Nick Gutierrez, Daniel Coello and Koky Duarte (8G, 6A), who is crushing it this year.
The Red Devils (7-6) posted a 7-0 win over Gorton when Brandon Rodriguez scored two unassisted goals in the first 15 minutes. Khamani Thomas added two second-half tallies.
Class C HALDANE chalked up a 3-0 win over PUTNAM VALLEY behind the scoring efforts of Frank DiGilio, Samuel Vergas and Matthew Nachamkin to improve to 7-4 overall, 4-2 in league play.
However, the Blue Devils failed to solve CROTON-HARMON in a 3-1 setback as Tiger Liam Stapleton (2G) and Louie North each bagged goals and G Cole Cross needed just two saves for the win. Max Westphal scored for Haldane from Clem Grossman (8G, 8A). Croton (6-3-1) is another sneaky good club this fall.
Sourcing & Methodology Statement:
Ray has 33 years experience covering and photographing local sports in Westchester and Putnam counties, including everything from Little League/Travel Baseball to varsity high school prep sports and collegiate coverage. He has been a sports editor at Examiner Media since its inception in 2007.