It will be great offense against perfect defense when the B-1 and B-2 champions in the Section VI boys soccer championship is played on Tuesday night at Sweet Home High School. International Prep and Lackawanna looked at the top of their respective games on Wednesday night.
I-Prep’s offense was particularly impressive in Wednesday’s B-1 final at Sweet Home. The Presidents rolled to a 5-1 win over East Aurora.
Meanwhile, Lackawanna picked up its 14th shutout of the season, and scored all of its goals in the second half to take a 3-0 victory over Lafayette.
I-Prep (18-1) was extremely sharp offensively, moving the ball efficiently and unselfishly.
"It’s to our advantage to isolate our players, get them one on one with defenders," I-Prep coach Tony Alessi said. "We’re hot right now. We just want to keep our confidence going."
East Aurora (14-4-1) had one good moment, and even that came with some bad news. Pat Philips of the Blue Devils scored to tie the game at 1-1, but hurt his knee on the play. He wasn’t 100 percent the rest of the way.
"We wanted to play the ball over the top of them, and counter quickly," coach Kevin Beale said. "When we lost Pat, we lost a big part of our heart."
Pa Lu broke the tie with 13:41 left in the half, and Abdullahi Hussein made it 3-1 about four minutes later on a fabulous pass from Lu. That took away the suspense. A pair of second-half goals later completed the scoring and ended East Aurora’s streak of sectional crowns at five.
In the opener, Lackawanna vigorously celebrated its first-ever Section VI title.
When the final horn sounded, all of the Steelers gathered on the field for a group hug of sorts. Then they ran to the sidelines to share the moment with their supporters.
"I’m so proud of our school and of the team," coach Abdulsalan Noman said about his Lackawanna squad (16-2-1). "We’re bringing a winning trophy back."
The Steelers were a little upset about how they played in the first half. If anything, the Violets (10-7) had the best chance of the first 40 minutes. They hit a crossbar on a direct free kick from about 35 yards out.
"With a goal early, it’s a whole different game," Lafayette coach Brad Brodnicki said. "We missed some opportunities, and we did not finish our chances."
"I was very upset in the first half that we didn’t play right at first," Noman said. "I don’t know what happened."
The scoreless duel ended when Lackawanna earned a corner kick in the game’s 47th minute. Ali Alomari launched a low liner into the lower part of the far corner of the net. Hamidou Balde and Ilyas Galab added some insurance. Ali Mosed picked up his 14th shutout, and the Steelers were on to the Class B final.
"We had a battle with them last year for the B-2," Alessi said about Lackawanna. "It’s not going to be easy by any means."