YORKTOWN HEIGHTS – It was a familiar sight at the Section 1 Class C finals at Yorktown High School on Sunday morning.
Top-seeded Haldane, the five-time defending sectional champions, faced off against second-seeded Solomon Schechter in a rematch of last year’s title match.
Actually, make that six-time defending sectional champions.
The Blue Devils, just like last year, came away with the win, this time by a convincing 3-0 score.
“Class C is tough, so we play some of the better teams to prepare ourselves,” Haldane head coach Gary van Asselt said. “This year we played Briarcliff, Irvington, and Arlington B. We were ready for today. There’s no hiding how prepared we were for this game.”
The first 25 minutes of the game were very competitive, with both teams getting several shots off on goal. But in the 26th minute, Haldane’s Julia Rotando delivered a pass to Missy Lisikatos who controlled the ball from a few feet outside the box and fired a shot that went off the hands of Schechter keeper Lily Hochfelder and into the net.
Haldane controlled the rest of the game, and added two more goals to claim the Class C crown.
Even with the success that Haldane has had, the players were still thrilled to win yet another sectional title.
“It feels really great. It was great to get a goal off a great pass by Julia,” Lisikatos said. “We worked really hard all year for this.”
After the game the Haldane players posed for pictures holding up six fingers, one for each of their championships.
“Six years in a row is great,” Van Asselt said. “I’m really happy we’ve been able to build a strong soccer program at Haldane. It’s always been a big basketball school, but I think it’s great that Haldane soccer is on the map now.”
Player of the game: Missy Lisikatos scored the game’s first goal, and was instrumental in helping Haldane control the pace of the game. With today’s win, Lisikatos, who has been on the team since seventh grade, won her sixth sectional title.
Turning point: At the end of the first half Haldane only led by one goal. However, 12 seconds into the second half, Hannah Monteleone launched a rainbow shot from just past midfield that went over the Hockfelder’s hands and into the net to give the Blue Devils an important insurance goal.
Stat line: Lisikatos, Monteleone and Robin Ben-Adi all scored for Haldane, while Abigail Platt made three saves for the shutout. For Solomon Schechter, Hochfelder made 15 saves.
Quotable: “We’ll play anybody,” Van Asselt said. “I’m very proud of my team they did a great job today. We’re very confident going into regionals.”