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Monday, Nov. 16, 2015: Four from Suffolk win first soccer championships

   Leading off today: Michael Lorello converted two penalty kicks and Witman Hernandez also scored twice as the Walt Whitman boys soccer team rolled past Ballston Spa 5-1 for the NYSPHSAA Class AA championship Sunday in Middletown.

   It was the first championship for the Whitman boys but just one of four on the day for Suffolk County boys or girls soccer teams. In fact, all four were first-timers and none began the weekend top-ranked in the state.

   "We knew we weren't satisfied with the county title," Lorello told Newsday.

   Lorello and Hernandez connected for goals in the first four minutes and Lorello added his second penalty kick in the 17th minute to give the Wildcats (20-1-1) a 3-0 lead.

   "It's just an amazing feeling," Hernandez said. "I cannot describe with words what we did."    The result had to qualify as a letdown for Ballston Spa a day after a surreal performance to knock top-ranked and defending champion Ithaca out of the semifinals.

   In Saturday's game, Ithaca broke to a 2-0 lead in the first half. Then, after allowing just two goals in the entire season, the Little Red surrendered three in five minutes. Playing without its injured goalie, Ballston Spa went on to a 4-2 win.

   More Section 11: Josue Martinez scored with 3:30 left to wrap up Amityville's 2-0 win over Pearl River in the boys Class A final.

   The Warriors slipped to 8-5 after a three-game losing streak late in the season and then rattled off nine straight wins to complete the championship season.

   In girls finals, Islip beat Jamesville-DeWitt 1-0 in Class A and Port Jefferson downed Elmira Notre Dame 3-1 in Class C.

   Lyndsey Sparks' goal propelled Islip to its first championship. Mary O'Hara stripped the ball at midfield and sent a pass through traffic to Sparks, who dribbled through the box with two defenders alongside and fired to the far post with 7:11 remaining in the first half.

   "I looked up and it was me and the goalie," Sparks said. "I was like, 'I have to get this in.'"

   Port Jefferson carried a 2-1 lead into halftime. Royals goalkeeper Brianna Scarda made a stop on a free kick in the 58th minute, and junior Jillian Colucci headed Clare O'Connor's cross into the net a minute later for the finishing touch.

   Dominating finish: There was little doubt that Elmira Notre Dame was going to want to leave no doubt in the boys Class C final.

   Six players scored goal as the Crusaders completed a 21-0 season with a 9-1 victory over Solomon Schechter.    Senior Alec Cutler, who broke the NYSPHSAA season record for assists during Saturday's semifinals, led the way with two goals and four more assists. Rocco Coulibaly and Aidan Sharma also scored twice.

   "It's an amazing feeling," Cutler told The Star-Gazette after finishing the year with 44 assists. "We kind of had a sad end to the season last year and we just came out and showed what we can do when we put our minds to it."

   The 2014 season ended abruptly when Notre Dame was forced to give back its Section 4 championship and pull out of the playoffs just days before the state tournament


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  • because they were informed they had played the season with a student whose transfer paperwork was not in order.

       Seven returning seniors helped Notre Dame outscore its 2015 opponents by a 186-5 margin, setting NYSPHSAA marks for offense and goal differential. The closest game of the season was a 4-0 win vs. Waverly, and the margin for six postseason wins was 45-1.

       "We were just ready to play game by game," junior co-captain Connor Bayne said.

       Said Schechter coach Bryan Lamana: "We would have had to have played a perfect game just to stay with them."

       CHSAA state finals: Junior forward Matt Vowinkel's second two-goal game of the weekend paced Chaminade past Canisius 5-0 for the boys championship. A.J. Codispoti also connected twice, and Yanni Rigos recorded his 14th shutout of the season.

       Down 2-0 already, Canisius played the final 35 minutes a man down following a red card.

       In the girls game, St. Anthony's defended its title beating Christ the King 4-1. Francesca Venezia broke a 1-1 tie with a penalty kick with 8:05 left in the first half. She also scored the Friars' final goal.

       "From the beginning, being state champs again was our goal," Venezia said. "We were going to do anything it took to be back here again and we did."

       Seven in a row: Fifth-year varsity player Dana Bozek scored twice for Lakeland in a 4-1 win over Garden City for the NYSPHSAA Class B field hockey championship.

       It marked the seventh straight state crown and the 10th overall for coach Sharon Sarsen.

       "Even last year I said, as a senior captain, if I have to do a backflip and score through my legs, we're not losing the state championship game," Bozek told The Journal News.

       Lakeland finished its season 22-0.

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