The Flatbush Middle Division Boys Soccer team saw their playoff run come to an end on Tuesday evening (5/29), as a number of late goals lifted the YCQ Wildcats to an 8-0 win in the semifinals of the MJDSSA playoffs in Flushing, NY.
The Falcons came into the game off a very exciting road win in the MJDSSA Quarterfinals, defeating Barkai by a score of 2-1 at the Sephardic Center. And, it looked for a good part of the night that they might keep that momentum rolling in the Semifinals.
For two thirds of the game, Flatbush played a tactically effective game, but the Wildcats wore the Falcons down on their way to a Semifinal victory, bringing a successful season to a to a too early close.
At the start, it looked like it might be a long night for the late arriving Falcons (it took a long two hours for the Flatbush bus to make the trip to YCQ from Brooklyn) as Flatbush ceded a poorly defended goal in the opening seconds of the game. The defense then woke up and played sharp. Josh Romano picked up his play in goal, and the defense helped him keep the zone clear. Of course, some lucky bounces were also helpful. Aaron Vays, Ben Hymowitz and Ben Dahan tried to mount an attack, but the Wildcat defense was solid.
Then, in the waning moments of the opening half, Flatbush had its best scoring chance of the contest. With under a minute to play, YCQ took a penalty giving Flatbush an indirect kick in the crease, but Flatbush was denied. Flatbush got another golden opportunity when YCQ was called for a handball in the crease. Vays took the penalty kick. The keeper made the initial block but left Vays a juicy rebound. Vays blasted away at it, but hit the post. The buzzer sounded, ending the half with YCQ clinging to the 1-0 advantage.
The Second half opened with even play as the teams exchanged offensive attacks. Flatbush hoped to build on the momentum of the end of the first half, while YCQ hoped to swing things back in their favor. But, neither team could establish dominance. That all soon changed. Ten minutes in, the Flatbush defense faltered, leaving the Wildcats a straight on shot in the crease that they drove home, doubling their lead to 2-0. Four minutes later, the Wildcats padded their lead when their keeper scored on a ball Romano let skip through his legs. The floodgates were now open. The Wildcats drove home 5 more goals in the final minutes of the game, ultimately winning by a final score of 8-0.
Afterwards, the Flatbush coaches had nothing but praise for their Falcons. “You played your hearts out,” an exhausted Coach Yoav Fleischman told the boys. “I could not be prouder of the effort you put forth.” Coach Andrew Sternberg added, “This was a great season. You accomplished something no Falcon Soccer team ever has, winning our first ever playoff game. Next year we will look to build on this and hopefully go even further!”