Last week was supposed to be a humbling experience for Hastings, but it turned out to be more of an overwhelming statement.
The Yellow Jackets are good — like, really good — and they can compete with just about anyone, regardless of school size.
We expected the defending Class B champs to be a contender once again this year, but they’ve proven to be even more dynamic, thanks in large part to an influx of returning talent from the U.S. Academy system. The leader among the newcomers has been senior Oscar Pereira, a versatile player who coach Fred Sandhop can move to any position on the field.
The final #lohudsoccer Player of the Week for the regular season has been splitting his time recently between center back and the midfield, finding ways to help anchor the defense while also chipping in offensively. In Tuesday’s 3-0 win at Blind Brook, Pereira assisted on the first goal of the game and led the defense to the first of three shutouts for the week. Then, in what was considered Hastings’ biggest challenge of the week against former No. 1 overall Yorktown, the Pereira scored in the 2-0 upset win. And finally on Saturday, against fellow Class B contender Bronxville, West Point-bound senior chipped in a goal and an assist in a convincing 3-0 victory.
The Yellow Jackets played their three toughest games of the year in a span of six days, and Pereira was a key contributor in each of them. He currently leads the team with 13 goals and nine assists.
“He’s a good enough player that anywhere we put him on the field, anyone who is around him, he’ll make them better,” teammate Jackson Silverstein said of Pereira. “Being in practice with him helps out for a lot of the guys. We knew he was going to be a big help.”
Others who were considered this week included Lakeland’s Nick Foci, Pearl River’s Kevin Doorley, Spring Valley’s Anderson Italien, Suffern’s Myles Solan, Scarsdale’s Michael Spiro, Brewster’s Hugo Guerra, Tappan Zee’s Jorge Umana, Hamilton’s Luis Rodriguez, Albertus Magnus’ Conor Parahus, Horace Greeley’s Johnny Gerstein, Rye Neck’s Pierre Klur, Ossining’s Miguel Marra, Haldane’s Blaine Fitzgerald, Ramapo’s Omar Henry, Port Chester’s Bryan Narvaez, Beacon’s Kyle Davis and Mamaroneck’s Alex Alma.
Previous #lohudsoccer Players of the Week:
- Sept. 5-11: Bronxville’s Jeb Burnell
- Sept. 12-18: Yorktown’s Joey Landicino
- Sept. 19-25: Byram Hills’ Jack Beer
- Sept. 26-Oct. 2: Tappan Zee’s Jorge Umana
- Oct. 3-Oct. 9: Nanuet’s Matt Wain
NOTE TO COACHES: I’ll be taking nominations for the #lohudsoccer Player of the Week for the rest of the season. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org every Sunday with stats for the player that you’d like us to consider. Any games from Monday-Sunday should be mentioned.