Izzy Spells! Bronxville Delivers Knockout Blow to Pleasantville

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Panthers Fall, 3-1, in South. Westchester Regional Final

By Rob DiAntonio
Examiner News Writer

Despite a bunch of tough jabs landed by distraught Pleasantville sharpshooter Izzy Kapoor (20), the top-seeded Panthers (12-1) failed to land the knockout blow last Monday when the stunned former NYS Class B champions (inset) came up short in a 3-1 Southern Westchester regional final
setback to second-seeded Bronxville (12-2-1) in a rematch of the 2019 Section 1 Class B title tilt.

Pleasantville’s girls’ soccer team fell into an early hole and the top-seeded Panthers weren’t able dig out of it in a 3-1 loss to second-seeded Bronxville in the Southern Westchester small school regional final on Monday, Nov. 23. It was a rematch of last year’s Section 1 Class B final, which was won by the Panthers, on their way to a state championship.

Lily Jebejian scored a pair of first-half goals to get the Broncos out to a quick lead. Her first goal came with 31:21 left in the first half when she curved in a corner that deflected off a Panthers defender and into the net. Pleasantville had a chance to tie it up right away when Katie Moses broke loose but Bronxville goalie Milly Koenig made the sliding save.

Jebejian extended Bronxville’s lead to 2-0 when she blasted a deep shot that went off the outstretched hands of Panther keeper Lila Donohue and into the net with 24 minutes left in the opening half.

“They’re well coached and disciplined,” Pleasantville Coach Chris Osterhoudt said of Bronxville. “They have a high I.Q. and are very skilled as well. Year after year they put such a good product out on the field.”

The Panthers continued to get their chances but couldn’t capitalize. Isabelle Kapoor just missed on a breakaway with 18 minutes left in the first half. Mary Grace O’Neill crossed a pass to Jessica Beck but she couldn’t get enough on the shot as the game went into halftime with the Panthers still trailing 2-0.

“For the chances that we did have, we just didn’t connect on them,” Osterhoudt said. “Against a team like that, we can’t assume that we’re going to have many more after that. We have to take advantage of the opportunities that we get and unfortunately we just didn’t connect on too many of them.”

With the wind at their back in the second half, Pleasantville knew it had an opportunity at a comeback. The Panthers began their comeback attempt when O’Neill sent a blast of a shot off the crossbar and into the net just over five minutes into the second half to cut the deficit to 2-1.

“We knew that the wind was certainly going to help us in certain opportunities, and we took advantage on the one goal,” Osterhoudt said. “But, like I said, we just didn’t take advantage of the early opportunities in the first half that we had. There were two or three times where we had a potential chance and it just didn’t go our way.

“Bronxville kept the ball alive and we just couldn’t get it out,” Osterhoudt added. “They were there at the right place, right time. We didn’t do an overly good job of getting the balls out.”

Pleasantville’s run to the finals included a quarterfinal win with the majority of its starters in quarantine. The JV squad was called up and helped the Panthers advance past Blind Brook on penalty kicks.

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