It's playoff time! Waldorf Varsity Boys Soccer Team, which secured third place in the IPPPSAL league, played their semi-final game against Our Savior New America (OSNA) at Centereach Park in Suffolk County, Centereach, NY.
"As in our prior games," said Coach Avari, "Waldorf came out strong on offense. We applied pressure on the OSNA defense and after three scoring opportunities fell short, senior midfield tri-captain Orin Pearce converted a penalty kick to give Waldorf the 01-00 lead." The continued pressure produced several more scoring opportunities before junior defender Ho Sub Kim found sophomore forward Deepjot Singh Sohal racing down the left side of the field. Kim fed Singh Sohal a pass that Singh Sohal gathered in. He beat the OSNA defender, broke to the middle and scored on a low line drive into the far corner for the 02-00 lead. An indirect kick inside the goal box was whistled against Waldorf and OSNA converted the opportunity, bringing the score to 02-01 at end the first half.
In the second half, Waldorf renewed their offensive pressure and netted another goal when junior midfield tri-captain Peter Escribano broke down the left side to the top of the goal box and fed a pass to the onrushing Singh Sohal. Singh Sohal slid in under the diving OSNA goalkeeper and increased the Waldorf lead, 03-01. The very physical game forced both teams to reshuffle their line-ups but it was now OSNA who brought the offensive attack to Waldorf. OSNA cut into the Waldorf lead with a header goal, making the score to 03-02. With only two minutes remaining, OSNA moved up 10 players into the Waldorf defense and were able to free up a player inside the penalty box for another header goal. The score was tied at 03-03 at end regulation time!
In the first ten-minute overtime period, Waldorf reestablished their pressure attack. Escribano stole the ball down the left side, beat two defenders, turned in towards the goal and lobbed an arching shot over the goalkeeper to put Waldorf back in front 04-03. It was now up to the defense of senior Eric Tasi, juniors Kim and Sam Resnick, sophomore Sheppard Somers and senior goalkeeper Max Novick to shut down the OSNA offense. With further assistance from Pearce, Escribano and senior midfield tri-captain Caleb Yuan, they were able to stifle and turn away the opponent through the end of the first overtime period and for the full ten-minutes of the second overtime period. And with that, Waldorf advances to the IPPSAL finals for the fourth time in the past five years.
Waldorf outshot OSNA 21-16. Novick made 10 saves (four of which were of the extraordinary type, especially two in the overtime periods). Waldorf will face Lawrence Woodmere Academy (LWA) (who beat Long Island Lutheran High School 05-04 on penalty kicks) in the IPPSAL Championships, on Friday, October 26th at the neutral site of the Portledge School in Locust Valley, New York. Game time is scheduled for 2:00 PM.