The Arlington High School boys soccer team stresses defense from all 11 players on the field.
On Thursday, the Admirals needed to defend against all 11 Scarsdale Raiders, as well as a biting wind in their faces in the second half, as they defeated fifth-seeded Scarsdale 1-0 in a Section 1 Class AA semifinal.
Top-seeded Arlington (18-1) advanced to today’s 8:30 p.m. final against second-seeded North Rockland at Carmel High School. The game will immediately follow the Arlington girls soccer team’s Section 1 Class AA final.
“Eight-thirty’s a little late. It’s a little after my bedtime,” Arlington coach Craig Sanborn jokingly said. “But I guess I’ll stay awake for it. We’ve got to come back out and do it all over again. It starts with defending and we’ll get our opportunity to score.”
Arlington’s Jeff Greblick scored the game’s lone goal on a cross from Peter Garson 15:22 into the first half while the wind was still at his back. Game-time temperature was 40 degrees with a wind that made it feel even colder. Arlington weathered some Scarsdale offense in the second half, including getting a sprawling save by Arlington goalkeeper Alex Fazio (five saves) on Scarsdale’s Vincent Gandolfo in the waning moments of the match.
“We tried to get as many men as we could in front of them,” Greblick said. “We’re excited.”
Arlington is in the Section 1 Class AA final for the first time since it won the 2009 title in iconic coach Gary Montalto’s final season.
“It feels great. We’ve been looking forward to this all season,” Arlington senior David Verdis said. “We had to work to get this.”
“We haven’t changed anything we’ve done all season long,” Sanborn said. “We defend with 11, and defense wins championships. Scarsdale gave us everything we could handle and more. The forecast said the wind would die down in the second half and it did the opposite.
“I’m so proud of our seniors that they were able to get us this far.”
Scarsdale (12-4-3) held a 9-8 advantage in shots and a 3-0 edge in corner kicks.
“We played with all our hearts,” Scarsdale coach Joseph Cipriano said. “It was a tremendous effort. They’ve been doing this all year. Today, we were a little short, but I’m very proud of them.”