This afternoon, the boys’ JV soccer team completed an undefeated PSAA season with a 4-0 win over second-seeded Avenues in the PSAA Championship, held at Cantiague Park.
After a dominant regular season, during which the Bears outscored their league opponents 41-7 in six matches, the Bears came into the match highly favored. Avenues was well aware of the Bears’ potent offense, having yielded 15 goals to the Blue & White in two previous match-ups, and attempted to stem the Bear attack by clogging the back and midfields with eight to nine players while sending only one or two up to counterattack. The strategy worked insofar as the Bears were kept off the board for most of the first half, but the Brook still had several chances, including two near misses by Luqman Bare in the opening minutes. The Bears finally broke through with less than five minutes remaining when Bare pounced on a misplayed ball by the keeper, tucking away a 1-0 lead that the Brook took into the break.
In the second half, the Aviator defense remained stout, though the crossbar did yeoman’s work at the 36:35 mark on a strike from Bare. The Bears finally got some breathing room with 25:46 left when John Fay sent a right cross in to his twin brother James who banged home the 2-0 lead. Down two goals, Avenues could no longer contentedly crowd the back third and as they ventured further up in a desperate attempt to mount a comeback, the backfield opened up for our speedy forwards. James Fay struck again 15 minutes after his first score, carrying the ball up the left sideline and into the box before blasting a shot between the keeper and near post. Bare nearly added another just 21 seconds later but was again foiled by the crossbar. With 3:41 remaining, Alex Zaborek capped the win and the season with a score that swelled the lead to 4-0. The stingy defense of Stephen Cisz, Aaron Thomas, Nicky Candela, and William Maglione never allowed the Aviators to mount a meaningful threat for the entire afternoon. Lemuel Kutame anchored the defense with his fourth clean sheet of the season.
As the final seconds bled away, the boys ran onto the turf, relishing that most difficult of accomplishments: perfection.