Rhinebeck High School boys soccer coach Justin Wiesenthal and his team arrived to Franklin D. Roosevelt High School in Hyde Park early on Tuesday.
The Hawks closely studied the game going on, and watched as Wallkill eventually edged Red Hook 4-3 in penalty kicks to advance to the finals of the Mid-Hudson Athletic League tournament.
“(Wallkill) looked great. Very fit,” Wiesenthal said.
And after the Panthers won, Wiesenthal’s team defeated Spackenkill 1-0 in its own MHAL semifinal. The Hawks will face Wallkill in the final on Thursday, again at Roosevelt.
“I expect a hard-fought match. I’m sure the guys are going to be excited. It should be a great night for Rhinebeck,” Wiesenthal said.
Tuesday, likewise, proved to be a positive night for the Hawks.
With 4:40 to play, Quinn Graziano sent the ball to the back of the net on an assist from Joe Boland. The score was all offense the Hawks needed to win.
Ethan Viator pitched a shutout in goal, recording four saves. Quinn McGinnis made three saves for Spackenkill.
“The team did a nice job defending against Spackenkill,” Wiesenthal said. “(The Spartans) are a great team all-around, year to year. I was really happy with the way my team came together and worked to defend.”
The MHAL final will be a rematch of three years ago, when the Hawks lost to the Panthers in the 2013 championship. Rhinebeck last won the title in 2012.
But the chance to win this time around is all the Hawks are focusing on.
“The MHAL is a competitive league,” Wiesenthal said. “We’re lucky to have an opportunity to go out and play.”
A.J. Martelli: firstname.lastname@example.org, 845-437-4836, Twitter: @AJM_PoJoSports
When: Thursday; girls final at 5 p.m., boys at 7 p.m.
Where: Franklin D. Roosevelt High School, Hyde Park
More online: For a preview of the girls final between Red Hook and Rhinebeck, visit http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com