YORKTOWN, N.Y. – Yorktown boys soccer coach Ed Polchinski could’ve scheduled any team for his own tournament opener, which also happened to be the Huskers’ season opener, on Sept. 3.
Polchinski decided to go right for the jugular and schedule rival Somers, with the Tuskers coming out on top, 2-1, in a thriller.
The two local squads also played last year in the quarterfinals of the Section 1 Class A tournament, with the Tuskers winning 2-0. The two title contenders could very well meet again in this year’s postseason.
“We could’ve played someone else in the tournament if we wanted to, but I figured let’s get right to the heart of it,” Polchinski said. “They are in our league, we know they are going to be very competitive. I figured it would be a good tune-up for us and a good match to see where we stand. I think we were pretty evenly matched.”
Along with the high level of play, what also added to the evening was the incredible support by the Crop, the Yorktown student body. The Crop was at full throttle even before the game started, storming into the stands boisterously as a group before the start of the game.
Senior Yorktown striker Mikey O’Connor was appreciative of their support.
“It’s great,” O’Connor said. “It definitely fuels everyone. Win or lose, they are always there for us. They are our school.”
Polchinski said that he was very pleased with the support the Crop gave his squad.
“Our boys, I know our boys do that in return for their sports and all that but it was very overwhelming,” Polchinski said. “I mean I have never seen a crowd like this in quite a while. Plus it was Somers, so that put a little bit of icing on the cake to play.”
O’Connor tied the game at 1-1 with 11:30 remaining in the first half, about four minutes after Somers tallied the first goal of the game.
“It was the team, all a team effort,” O’Connor said. “George (Popovic) had a great pass. Everyone was moving well. I just had the finish.”
O’Connor thought it was important to score right after Somers did.
“It was great,” O’Connor said. “It definitely gave us a little boost. They came up on top but I feel like as a team, we are going to be fine. It’s just the first game, win or lose.”
Somers took the lead with 32:37 left in the second half and held on after that for the victory.
Polchinski said that he was very pleased with the way his squad played, especially goalie Dylan Lopez, who made 8 clutch saves.
“We told them that if we were going to lose, it probably would be by a set-piece and that’s what happened,” Polchinski said. “We had our opportunities, they had theirs. Dylan played great in the back, he made a couple of great, big saves. We had a couple of opportunities that we just didn’t capitalize on. That won’t happen [again in the future], hopefully.”
Lopez also made four saves in the Huskers’ 3-0 loss to visiting Pearl River on Sept. 5.
Yorktown (2-2) won the consolation game of its tournament with a 2-1 victory against Mahopac on Sept. 7, led by Timmy O’Callaghan (1G, 1A), Popovic (1G, 1A) and Lopez (4 saves).
Yorktown traveled to Keio on Sept. 9, winning 3-0, led by O'Connor (2G), O'Callaghan (1G, 1A), Zak Stanik (1A), Teddy Kozera (1A) and Lopez, who registered 5 saves in recording his first varsity shutout.
"It was a great team effort," Yorktown assistant coach Justin Huff said. "We were able to get in all our guys, which was great because the boys have been working very hard."