Leading off today:
It's hard to dispute the Newsday assertion that the Walt Whitman
boys soccer team has just completed its best week ever.
Three days after beating perennial Suffolk County power Brentwood for the Section 11 Class AA championship, the Wildcats returned to the pitch Sunday and downed Hicksville 4-1 in the state quarterfinals.
It gave Whitman the first Long Island Class AA championship in school history and a date with Hilton on Saturday in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association semifinals at Middletown.
"It feels amazing, but I think it's not only me," forward Witman Hernandez told Newsday. "I think it's the whole team. We played better, and we know what we're doing."
Hernandez, who became the school's career scoring leader in the 1-0 win over Brentwood on Thursday, recorded a pair of goals and set up one by Fabrizio Chomorro as the Wildcats. He scored the lone goal of the first half, latching onto a cross and pushing a shot off his knee and in off the near post in the 25th minute.
More soccer: Freshman Rolman Guardado scored in the 99th minute to lift Amityville to a 1-0, double-overtime win over Floral Park in the Long Island Class A final.
It gave the Suffolk County squad its first Long Island championship in team history and a berth in next weekend's NYSPHSAA semifinals vs. Grand Island.
"It's just crazy," Guardado said. "As a freshman, to win it for your team, for the first time, unbelievable. It's unexplainable. You can't put it in words. It's going to stay (in my heart) for the rest of my life."
Ernesto Gomez received a pass from Deiby Ortega and almost immediately sent Guardado in on goal. Guardado's worm-burner went in off goalkeeper Michael Baldini for just his third tally of the season.
Amityville keeper Kevin Ramirez, a 6-foot-6 senior, made seven saves for his second consecutive shutout. The Warriors beat Harborfields 3-0 to win their first Section 11 Class A title since 1980.
Last chance: Section 8 is down to one team in the NYSPHSAA soccer tournament, threatening Nassau County's streak of producing at least one boys or girls championship for a dozen consecutive seasons. On the plus side for the section's chances, that sole survivor is two-time defending girls Class AA champion Massapequa.
Aquinas advances: Aquinas captured its ninth Section 5 football championship in 10 seasons by edging Rush-Henrietta 17-14 in the Class AA title game.
Collin Cup broke a 14-14 tie with a 26-yard field goal 55 seconds into the fourth quarter, and the Little Irish defense held up the rest of the way to advance to next weekend's state quarterfinals against Orchard Park.
Aquinas marched 66 yards on its first drive of the second half and scored on a 11-yard run by T.J. Scanlon with 6:31 remaining in the third quarter. Jake Zembiec hit Earnest Edwards on the 2-point conversion for a 14-7 advantage.
R-H responded with a 90-yard TD drive culminating in Jared Gerbino's 20-yard pass to Reggie Robinson in the back of the end zone.
Aquinas then drove from it's 35 to the Royal Comets' 9 before stalling out. Coach Chris Battaglia didn't hesitate to send Cup on for just his second field-goal attempt of the season despite a missed extra point after the team's first TD of the game.