The Rhinebeck and Spackenkill high school boys soccer teams will meet on Thursday in the Section 9 Class B championship game, after both reigning sectional champions earned shutout victories in Tuesday’s semifinal round.
Rhinebeck, the 2012 sectional Class C champ that moved up to Class B this season, defeated James I. O’Neill 2-0, while Spackenkill, the defending sectional Class B champion, beat Liberty 3-0.
Third-seeded Rhinebeck and top-seeded Spackenkill split their previous two meetings this season, with the Spartans handing the Hawks their first loss of the year on Oct. 15, and Rhinebeck winning the rematch in the Mid-Hudson Athletic League semifinals on Oct. 22.
“We’re going to try to play the game that we’ve been playing,” Rhinebeck coach Justin Wiesenthal said. “We’ll work hard as a team and just focus on the fundamentals that have gotten us to the sectional championship.”
Andy Rosenzweig played a large role in Rhinebeck reaching the title match, scoring both of the Hawks’ goals against No. 2 O’Neill. After a scoreless first half, Rosenzweig put the visiting Hawks on the board at the 7:20 mark, scoring off a Seth McClenahan miss. Twenty minutes later, McClenahan found Rosenzweig on a cross for another goal.
Rhinebeck (16-2) held O’Neill to three shots on goal, and goalie Eric Rodriguez stopped two for the shutout.
“The credit for our team goes to the defense,” Wiesenthal said. “O’Neill has a pretty good offensive team. Our team really did a nice job in the back today.”
Dan Lagasse scored two of Spackenkill’s goals against No. 5 Liberty, while Cris Stamper assisted on one of them and scored one.
Issac Choi made four saves for Spackenkill (13-4).
“We put the pressure on (Liberty) right away,” Spackenkill coach Manny Blanco said in a statement. “The pressure was key. Our ball movement was spot on today. It was our best performance in a while.”