Drossman’s Overtime Goal Lifts the Bobcats to Title

We are part of The Trust Project
Byram Hills' Brandon Drossman celebrates after scoring the goal in overtime that lifted the Bobcats to the Class A title over Yorktown.
Byram Hills’ Brandon Drossman celebrates after scoring the
goal in overtime that lifted the Bobcats to the Class A title
over Yorktown.

By A.J. Martelli

The Byram Hills boys’ soccer team was seeking its first Class A title since 2010 on Sunday night at Arlington High School after rebounding from a disappointing 5-5 midseason record and going on a big winning streak.

The No. 4 Bobcats and No. 11 Yorktown Huskers each took turns grabbing a one-goal lead, but eventually found themselves headed for overtime. Just four minutes into the first of two 15-minute extra sessions, Brandon Drossman came through with the dramatic goal that decided the sectional final.

With his back heel out in front, mixed up in a scrum in front of the goal with Yorktown keeper Jacob Braham caught out of position, Drossman managed to slip the ball into the vacated net for the golden goal, giving the Bobcats a 3-2 victory over the Huskers for the Class A championship.

The Bobcats’ fan base was out in full force, despite the cold, windy conditions, and erupted in celebration after the game-winner by Drossman, who had never started a varsity game before getting pressed into service for the sectional final.

“This is great, just amazing, I can’t even describe it right now,” said Ross Weinfeld, one of the Bobcats’ key players during the current winning streak that has erased the memory of the team’s slow start back in September. “Everyone is singing and celebrating, it’s unreal. I can’t believe it. To come back from that place we were in, 5-5, is amazing.”

It took a lot for the euphoric feeling to overcome the Bobcats. Yorktown had jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead, scoring in the fourth minute on a goal off the foot of Marcello Spiniello. Despite dominating play even with a strong wind in their faces, it took the Bobcats until the 26th minute to get even on Drossman’s first of two goals on the night.

The teams remained tied at 1-1 until late in the second half when Neil Dan scored to give the Bobcats a precarious lead entering the final 12 minutes. The Huskers never backed down, though, and tied the game again with just 6:11 to play on a goal by Joey Landicino.

Despite the disappointment of failing to hold a late lead, the Bobcats came out for the suspense-filled overtime session determined to avoid the same fate they suffered in another title game a couple of years earlier.

“Payton Levine, our center back, is the guy that got us all composed,” Weinfeld said. “He brought us all in and told us, ‘We’ve been here before,’ and we were here before, back in the Pelham game. They scored quickly on us. We just had to keep our heads, play our game, and that’s what we did.”

Yorktown Coach Ed Polchinski gave credit to Byram Hills, noting how the Bobcats played tough and gritted it out at the end.

“Once again, we played another top notch team, Byram, and it was another war,” he said. “Matty Allen does a great job over there. Give them a lot of credit, because usually if we go one or two goals up, we’re good. They (the Bobcats) were very aggressive, and they just found the back of the net one more time than we did.”

The feeling was mutual on Byram’s end.

“Hats off to a well-coached Yorktown team,” Allen said. “Great run.”

“Yorktown was so tough to defend,” Weinfeld said. “Number eight (Spiniello) was a nightmare and they threw in number 15 (Hamza) at the end. We just knew we had a crazy front line to deal with. They were a challenge.”

Now on a winning streak that has extended to double digits and produced another championship plaque, the Bobcats, 15-5 this season, move on to the state tournament. They face Section 9’s Wallkill on Wednesday evening back at Arlington High School, starting at 6:00.





We'd love for you to support our work by joining as a free, partial access subscriber, or by registering as a full access member. Members get full access to all of our content, and receive a variety of bonus perks like free show tickets. Learn more here.