In the previous rounds of the boys soccer playoffs, schedule makers have avoided games on Saturday to honor Solomon Schechter’s religious priorities. But for the Class C regional final, the Jewish day school had no other option but to play at Middletown High School on Saturday.
In an attempt to play the game without breaking tradition, the team booked a hotel within walking distance of the stadium and drove up on Friday before sundown. It was a touchy situation, but it also provided a unique bonding opportunity.
“The team and I, along with roughly 75 other friends and family, came up on Friday night to spend Shabbat together and walk to-and-from the field,” Schechter coach Bryan Lamana said. “It was an amazing experience from start-to-finish for this community.”
The Lions observed Shabbat while continuing the best run in school history with a 1-0 win over Section 9 champion Webutuck. Noam Goldberg scored the lone goal in the 50th minute and the Schechter defense allowed just three shots on goal.
The Lions do it again next weekend for their state semifinal against Section 5 champ Geneseo at 11 a.m. Saturday at Middletown.
“To win and still observe our Jewish roots is amazing,” Lamana said. “We haven’t really been able to get over the hump in recent years, but the program is improving every year and this team is in it to win it.”