YORKTOWN, NY— Last year, on the way to its first sectional championship in 27 years when it was in Class AA, members of the Yorktown boys soccer squad dyed their hair blond before the sectionals began.
Because it worked so well the previous fall, Yorktown’s players did it once again before its Section 1 Class A opening round contest against No. 14 seed Roosevelt (Early College) on Oct. 19.
“Last year we came up with the idea,” Yorktown junior Timmy O’Callaghan said. “We thought we needed something to bring the team together, get together, get our haircuts at a barber shop, we dye our hair. It’s like a big deal. It’s funny to see the guys come to school with their hair. It gives a sense that we can’t lose if we dye our hair because you just don’t want to dye your hair one or two games. You want to go the whole postseason. Dying our hair is really cool because it gives us our bonding culture and it makes it fun.”
O’Callaghan did his part on the field as well as at the barber shop as he registered two goals and an assist in leading No. 3 Yorktown to a 3-1 triumph over visiting Roosevelt.
Shane Dahlke got the Huskers on the board 9:05 into the game when his score, which was assisted by O’Callaghan, put Yorktown up 1-0.
That goal held up in part because of the play of Husker netkeeper James D’Alessio, who made six saves, including some clutch saves in the opening half.
“It was big, that is what we needed,” Yorktown coach Ed Polchinski said. “We went up 1-0 but they had a couple of chances which could have made this game a totally different game, and James came up with one or two big saves that definitely helped the team out quite a bit.”
O’Callaghan gave the Huskers a big boost when he scored off an assist from Jorge Torres-Solari with 12:06 remaining in the first half, giving Yorktown the 2-0 lead.
“When I saw Shane found Jorge on, in top of the box, I just sat in the spot where I knew Jorge would see me, the back post,” O’Callaghan said. “He slipped me the pass and I finished it first time. It meant a lot to the team because it gave us an edge going into the half. You don’t want to go into halftime up just one. You want to have multiple goals going into the half. It gave us momentum and we were glad to finish it off finally.”
O’Callaghan added to the Yorktown advantage 3:13 into the second half when he registered his second goal, courtesy of an assist from Colin Hannah, which put the Huskers up 3-0.
“It’s important because if you go a long time in the second half without getting a goal it’s kind of tough,” O’Callaghan said. “You give them a chance just to get one back. You just want to put it away early second half.”
O’Callaghan said that victory was a team effort.
“We really came together late in the season, you can see that, so goals like that are important because it gives us a sense of security where we can put our guys in, get the guys in that haven’t been playing as much as they’ve wanted to all year,” O’Callaghan said. “We are just a family, we like to play as a team.”
O’Callaghan (2G), David Dippolito (1G), Ciaran Donohoe (1G) Jack Prybyiski (first varsity goal) and Chris Perrino (3 saves, first varsity shutout) led the Huskers (12-5) to a 5-0 triumph at Walter Panas on Oct. 16 in its regular season finale.