By MIKE SMITH
If there was any doubt that the Bronxville boys soccer team was hungry for playoff success in 2013, the Broncos performance to date has certainly answered that question. On Oct. 28, the Broncos continued their winning ways, beating a good Woodlands team 2-1 to advance to the semifinals.
The Broncos jumped out to a lead with six minutes to go in the first half when Sam Ahearn found the net with an assist from Matt McCloskey. Liam Aherne made the score 2-0 with an early second-half goal and, though the Falcons battled valiantly in the waning minutes, the Broncos were able to hang on for the win.
It may not have been the prettiest game, head coach Don Lucas said, but it was an indication of how tough the Broncos can be when crunch time rolls around.
“I was extremely proud of the way we battled out there, we didn’t give up,” Lucas said after the game. “Woodlands is an athl
etic team, they had 12 wins in the regular season, so that was a tough test for us.”
The win comes on the heels of a 3-0 Oct. 25 win over the Pleasantville Panthers that was an important match for the psyche of the Broncos’ program given their surprising first-round defeat at the hands of Albertus Magnus in 2012.
“I think just getting out of the first round was a boost for us,” Lucas said. “Especially after what happened last year.”
Bronxville will get set to host a tough, fourth-seeded Briarcliff team on Oct. 30, after press time, for a chance to go to the Section I championship game. The Bears are coming off an impressive win in their own right, a 2-0 shutout against a good North Salem squad.
The Bears have a talented offensive unit led by Ethan Krupa and Jon Cabeca, but are best known for their defense as they’ve notched an incredible 12 shutouts on the year, thanks in part to the inspired play of goalie Kevin Louie.
“They’ve got three or four guys that can push up front, but their defense is great,” Lucas said. “And they’ve got a very good keeper back there.”
For the Broncos, Lucas said, the game plan is a simple one: avoid mistakes.
“We just have to take care of the ball and play our style,” he said. “At this point in the playoffs, you don’t know what’s going to happen. Every team left can win it.”