CORTLANDT MANOR, N.Y. — Yorktown rising senior center-back Besim Bucpapa scored with 3:04 left in the game, to give the Huskers a 1-0 victory against Briarcliff in Lakeland Boys Summer Soccer League action at Walter Panas.
“I missed a chance earlier, one-on-one with the keeper,” Bucpapa said. “I went back one-on-one with the keeper and this time I made sure I put it in.”
Assisting on the goal in the June 26 contest was Sergio Spiniello.
“We are always looking for each other at practice,” Bucpapa said. “I made the run, he picked it out, beautiful ball. I capitalized and I put it in the back of the net.”
Yorktown (3-1) didn’t get off to a great start in the game but did what it had to do to win it.
“We came out pretty flat again like last time but we started to get back in the game, possess the ball,” Bucpapa said. “I feel like we are not at our high potential yet. We have a lot of things to work on but overall I felt we played decent.”
Keeping Briarcliff out of the goal was Yorktown senior Mauricio Arango, who made three saves.
One of those saves came with 11:34 in the second half, when a Briarcliff shot hit the crossbar. Then with ball up in the air, Arango punched it out of the way, with two hands, as he dove to his left.
“We were in a time of danger and I want the ball just to stay in the middle so I just did everything I could to get it out, clear the danger for at least like a couple of seconds so we could regroup,” Arango said. “Just as long as we are safe and we don’t get scored on, that’s all I really care about.”
Arango not only displayed physical skills, he later barked out instructions to make sure all of the defenders were on the same page.
“It’s obviously a big part of my game,” Arango said. “As long as I keep everything in front of me organized and my defenders in front of me, trust me in the back and trust me with the instructions I’m giving, that’s honestly all I really care about because as long as we stay organized in the back and as long as we communicate between each other it’s hard to score on us. We are a nice, compact group and it’s just very important to communicate. ”
Lakeland won 1-0 on June 26 against Valhalla, on a goal by senior captain Dhruv Girgenti, assisted by another senior captain, Arben Hoxhaj.
“Kyle McHale, one of our senior captains, played me the ball, and then I played a give-and-go with Arben,” said Girgenti, who also shares the senior captainship with Gabe Nieves. “I cut inside with my first touch on the top of the box and then finished a low lefty shot at the near post.”
The Hornets created numerous scoring opportunities, forcing Valhalla goalie Justin Conti to make eight saves.
“We were able to counter attack well, and most of this was provided by Kyle, who played several key through balls,” said Girgenti, who plays center attacking midfield and wing. “We also did well to combine with each other in and around the box to get off shots.”
Ryan Mathis and Andres Lopez each had one save apiece for Lakeland (3-0-1).
“After our tie yesterday, we came out with a lot more intensity to win the ball today,” Girgenti said. “We played well together as a team, playing the correct passes and only dribbling at the proper moments.”