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Curtain call for two teams

Eldred’s Alan Kantoff battles with Brandon Decker of Sullivan West.
TRR photos by Ted Waddell

October 26, 2016

LAKE HUNTINGTON, NY — “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women in it merely players… they all have their exits…” (Excerpted with apologies to William Shakespeare from “As You Like It,” Act II, Scene VII.)

In taking a page from the classics, a couple of local boys varsity soccer squads drew down the curtain on their regular season competition last Wednesday afternoon.

In non-league play, the Class D Eldred Yellow Jackets (5-10) defeated the home-team Class C Bulldogs of Sullivan West (1-14), edging their rivals 2-1 by the final buzzer.

In the closing minutes of the first frame, Eldred’s Eric Binkowski collided skull-to-skull with Joseph Rogers of the Bulldogs, as both really got their heads into the game, once again proving that soccer can indeed at times be a full contact sport. Both booters went down for an eight-count, but recovered to sit out the game with icepacks on their respective noggins.

Sullivan West scored first at 16:03 in the opening half as Efrain Martinez popped it into the net off an assist by Will Siegel.

At the 19:03 mark, Eldred’s Stanley Maloney tied it up 1-1.

In the second frame, the Yellow Jackets delivered their final and game-winning sting of the game at 8:45 as Joseph Santoro scored on a cross by forward Christian Schadt that bounced off the home team goalie, and Santoro sent it into the net on the rebound.

“I think they played with a lot of heart… they worked hard this season; they never gave up,” said Debbie Owen, longtime coach of the Bulldogs booters.

She noted the team was hampered by a lot of injuries this year, and as result players had to cover for each other by taking over unfamiliar positions on the field.

The 2016 Bulldogs varsity soccer squad was comprised of last year’s JV team, as in 2015 Sullivan West didn’t field a varsity team.

“We still have a young team”, added Owen. “We’re trying to build the program back up.”

Her take on next soccer season in light of losing seven senior booters to graduation?

“We’ve got work to do… defensively, we’ve got a lot of gaps to fill,” replied Owen.

Joshua Santoro is in his second year as coach of the Yellow Jackets.

In reflecting on the season, he said, “We had an opportunity to make the sectionals, but we were not able to finish in the beginning of the season, but we turned it around and stayed positive.”

“We always played as hard as we could,” added Santoro. “We were in a lot of the games.”

His take on the season that often saw them matched up against “all the big schools”: