Boys’ Soccer Tests West Islip

For the second time in as many days the boys soccer team took on a Class AA foe, this time in a scrimmage against West Islip. From the opening whistle, the quality of play from both sides was impressive and packed with as much drama as an early season scrimmage can have. In the end our boys tied one of Newsday‘s picks to contend for the Class AA County Title, a team they said is “a young team with lots of talent and more depth than usual.”

1st Half

As soon as the game began it was apparent we were in for a battle. The Lions launched attack after attack, sending shots every which way, but the defense never yielded. Throughout the first half Wes Woodley sparkled in goal, making a save while sprawled out on his back and then deflecting a direct kick that ricocheted off of a forward’s chest right on the goal line. Throughout the frame the Bear defense was stalwart, stonewalling each West Islip attempt. PK Thorstenn played brilliantly, never overcommiting on his man and routinely taking a great angle and forcing his counterpart into an errant shot or pass. Jon Wentling and Tyler Anderson were aggressive and spoiled a host of Lion opportunities. The offense also kicked it into gear, raising their game from the day before and besieging the West Islip forces with crosses into the box and corner kicks. Mid-way through the half Lukas Alijosius and Anuraag Sah had a great build-up that was ultimately broken up by the keeper. Minutes later Tevyn Mitchell sent a great one-time toward the net that forced the keeper to make a difficult save. Finally, Anuraag Sah beat his man and sent a great ball into the box that the Lions failed to clear and after a brief scrum for control, Alijosius, the pride of Lithuania, tucked in the goal to catapult us into the lead. | 1-0

2nd Half

The offense continued its assault in the second half as Khoren Lawson had a great chance in the opening minutes. After receiving a beautiful pass he broke through the Islip line, put a shot on net that the goalie saved but failed to control, and put the rebound into the net for what appeared to be a two-goal lead. However, inexplicably, the referee disallowed the goal. As the half wore on, our offensive chances only increased and the defense held fast as the Lions settled for a barrage of long distance shots that sailed over the cross bar. With ten minutes remaining in the match, the Lions finally drew blood by way of a 30-yard bomb that was mere inches from careening off of the bar. The Bears saw their chance at a win slip away, but were willing to accept a well-earned tie, especially after yielding a penalty kick with 30 seconds remaining after an inadvertent handball in the box. With the game on the line Woodley danced on the goal line, hoping to guess the direction of the shot. Though it was only a scrimmage the crowd held its breath as the Lion approached the ball. As he connected with it Woodley jumped but did not save the ball–because it had been launched over the bar, securing a fantastic result for the Blue and White. | 1-1


Yesterday’s match against Hills West was a good result for the Bears because they yielded just two garbage goals to a powerful team, but the Bears never truly threatened the Colts over the 80 minutes. Today was different as we stayed even with West Islip in nearly every facet of the game. We equaled their shots on goal, we battled them in the air, our defense never cracked, and our offense had a number of chances. I was very impressed with both the individual play of Woodley, Anderson, Wentling, Thorstenn, and Pablo Celis, as well as the team play on both sides of the ball. The thing that shone through the most as I watched our boys battle was that if they played with the kind of focus and intensity in every match this season as they did today, League VIII had better brace itself.

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