SHRUB OAK – The starters were idling on the Yorktown sideline most of the second half, making noise each time anxious teammates subbed in and came up with a contribution.
They joined the celebration when Jamison Embury, Conor O’Meara, Stephen Foley, Brandon Meyerless, Anthony Altimari or Steven Veteri scored playoff goals. They collected one more Class B regional championship plaque, too, after posting a 21-9 win over Albany Academy on Saturday at Lakeland High School.
When the Huskers show up for practice on Monday, the mood will again be very serious. The defending state champions know exactly what’s coming next.
Dialing up the level of play, though, has been an issue all season for Yorktown.
The Huskers dispatched Section 1 opponents with relative ease early on this season, but suffered letdowns against marquee teams like Ward Melville and Chaminade.
“It’s not as easy this time because we didn’t have the same kind of schedule as we did last year,” senior midfielder Michael Dedvukaj said. “We’ve been going easy, easy, easy to hard. It showed against teams like Ward Melville and Chaminade, we either didn’t start well or we only played one half. Now we have to come out and go 48 minutes all out. We’ll play our game and hope for the best.”
Yorktown plays Long Island champion Manhasset at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Middletown High School in a Downstate Semifinal contest.
“I hope it’s no different,” Huskers coach Dave Marr said. “A lot of the kids who are playing were on the team last year, and we did play some good teams again this year so they’ve had the experience. They played all summer against top competition, so it’s not going to be a shock to play a very good team.”
Billy Strassman got the Huskers (16-4) started in the opening minute when he dodged into the middle and bounced a shot. Logan Peters scored in transition off a Justin Cavallo set up, then Kyle Casey got a running start and made it 3-0 with 3:45 to play in the first.
The Cadets (13-7) got one from Brevin Fleischer and were hanging in.
“We have a good team,” Yorktown defender Tim Forbes said. “We just have to get clicking sometimes. At the beginning of games we might not shoot too well, but I always have faith those guys are going to pick it up. Same thing on defense, sometimes we look a little rusty but we always clean it up.”
And when they picked it up, the Huskers found themselves in front 12-2 at the half and 17-4 after three quarters.