By MIKE SMITH
On Nov. 2, Broncos fans were able to celebrate what is fast becoming an annual occurrence in Bronxville, another Section I title for the girls soccer team.
With a 2-1 win over Albertus Magnus at Arlington High School, the Broncos captured their fourth-straight Class B crown, adding more hardware to the school’s overflowing trophy case.
Mason Warble notched both Bronco goals on the day in a contest that the Broncos controlled from the opening whistle. Head coach Don Cupertino–who was familiar with the Falcon’s style–said that the key to the Bronco success against Magnus would be a hot start.
“We knew they were going to be a big, strong, physical team, so we planned on putting pressure on them,” the head coach said. “I think they were kind of surprised that we came out with so much intensity.”
While it may seem that another section title is just old hat for the Broncos, Cupertino said the team’s past successes never weigh on preseason goals.
“I don’t really set long-term goals for the team, I think in the preseason, it’s too early for those expectations,” he said. “We break it down into three areas; preseason, the regular season and the last third is the playoffs.”
Any longterm expectations Cupertino may have had this year were temporarily put on hold when the team lost senior captain Meredith Donovan to an ACL injury in early October. With Donovan out for the season, Cupertino knew the Broncos would face an uphill battle if they hoped to be postseason contenders.
“When you lose a player like Meredith, it’s tough,” he said. “You try to tell yourself it’s going to be OK and that people will step up.”
Fortunately for Bronxville fans, the Bronco girls did just that, elevating their play in the absence of their best player to plow ahead for another section crown.
“We had a couple of rough games, we tried some different things, different personnel,” Cupertino said. “But things started to click. It’s hard to say, but it felt like the injury became motivation, a rallying point for this team.”
In the first round of the state tournament, the Broncos will take on Oneonta, a familiar foe from Section IV. The Yellowjackets are another physical team, according to Cupertino, and have a lot of speed up front.
“If we’re going to play our game, it’s going to be a possession type of game and we’re going to try to counter when we get the opportunity,” he said. “If we can defend well, hopefully we can get a win.”