Lacking talented strikers, the Poly Prep boys soccer team’s strength was clear.
“Poly is more of a defensive team that likes to suck teams in and hit them on the counter attack,” Dalton forward Danny Issroff said.
It was still not easy to stop.
Poly Prep’s defense got them past No. 3 Horace Mann and No. 2 UNIS and into the championship match against fifth-seeded Dalton. It, however, wasn’t enough in a 2-0 loss in the NYSAISAA boys soccer final at Manhattanville College this past Sunday.
“Well we weren’t even expected to be here, we were the No. 6 seed, we had a lot of struggles and we really fought hard to be here,” said Poly Prep goalkeeper Richard Carbone.
To compete with Dalton (12-4-1), Poly (8-6-3) coach Gerry Stone knew his team had to stick with what they did best.
“We came into the game with the game plan of to play strong defense,” he said. “We were hoping to stick to that plan and catch a break. We didn’t want to sit back because that’s what we weren’t trying to do.”
Carbone and sweeper Jason Griffiths were both catalysts for Poly defense and were the main reasons the Blue Devils competed with Dalton for as long as they did. The game was scoreless until the 77th minute, when Issroff struck for the first of his two tallies.
“Jason is a real leader, he’s been on the team for four years and both him and Richie have played about 80 games for Poly Prep,” Stone said. “They both played as freshmen and led us to two state championships and led us to this final.”
Despite the disappointing loss, Carbone, who finished the game with 13 saves, will remember the road to the final.
“To get here means a lot, we won the last two years and I know how it feels to win,” he said. “We wanted it to happen again and it’s rough to go out like this for my season year, but we played a couple of really unbelievably emotional games to get here and I’ll remember that for a long time.”
©2009 Community News Group
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