YORKTOWN, N.Y. – After a scoreless first half, Yorktown senior Mikey O’Connor scored twice on senior night, in leading the Huskers boys soccer squad to a 2-0 victory against visiting crosstown rival Lakeland on Oct. 17.
“It’s almost sectionals, we’re almost there, and put senior night aside, put our rivalry aside, we just have to win every game now,” O’Connor said. “It’s time to go. It’s nice winning on senior night, but it’s go time.”
Yorktown’s laser focus can be attributed to its senior class.
“It’s all the seniors,” O’Connor said. “Our time is running out and we just are realizing that this is our last shot to make everything count, whether it’s pushing little harder on the field or just the little things. The mentality, everything.”
Lakeland coach Tim Hourahan said that his squad played the game how it wanted in the first half.
“The wind was a massive factor, so getting to half tied at zero was very beneficial,” Hourahan said. “We probably also had the best chance to score in the first half and just headed it over the bar. And we were narrowly offside, on another goal we did score, which they took off the board.”
O’Connor scored his first goal 6:25 into the second half, off an assist from Peter Tinaj, that found the upper right corner of the net. He scored his second goal to seal the game, this time unassisted, with 9:53 remaining in the contest.
“It felt good to score but I’m just happy that our team played well and we got the win, that’s what matters the most,” O’Connor said.
Standing out for Lakeland with his play was Nicolas DeSantis.
“DeSantis has been our best player game in and game out this season,” Lakeland coach Tim Hourahan said. “Ball winner and flat out work rate, he is the engine of our team.”
Unfortunately, Lakeland just couldn’t stop O’Connor.
“Second half, we knew the first goal was big and they had a player in O’Connor take on our backs and hit a great shot,” Hourahan said. “We did not make them pay for any mistakes, so they deserve the credit for the win.”
Yorktown’s Dylan Lopez (5 saves) and Christian Sinagra (1 save) and Lakeland’s Nick Bassani (7 saves) produced in goal for their respective teams.
“It was a big game for the seniors,” Yorktown coach Ed Polchinski said. “Having 15 seniors, I was glad I was able to get them all in and get them some good playing time and they all rose to the occasion. They all played as well as we expected them to and kept us in the game.”
Yorktown Sweeps John Jay
Yorktown also beat visiting John Jay (Cross River), 2-1, in double overtime on Tuesday, Oct. 15, with George Popovic (2G), getting the game winner on an unassisted score with Timmy O’Callaghan (1A) and Scott Weitman (5 saves) contributing to the victory as well.
The Huskers (12-4) finished their regular season with a 2-0 win at John Jay on Saturday, Oct. 19, paced by 2 penalty kicks from O’Callaghan, with Lopez registering 5 saves to earn the shutout.
Lakeland Beats Panas
Lakeland (8-7-1) also finished their regular season on Saturday, Oct. 19, beating visiting sister school Walter Panas, 4-1, on their senior night, led by Austin Bergen (1G, 1A), DeSantis (1G), Bryan Jaramillo (1G), Jason San Lucas (1G), Ryan Brannigan (1A), Genti Gashi (1A) and Bassani (6 saves).
• No. 6 Yorktown vs. No. 11 Tappan Zee, Thursday, Oct. 24
• No. 12 Lakeland @ No. 5 Nyack, Thursday, Oct. 24