SHRUB OAK —Despite dominating possession and peppering the Lakeland goal with shots in the first half, Keio found itself deadlocked in a scoreless tie at halftime of its Class A quarterfinal on Monday.
In the second half, Kenta Wakimoto decided to keep things simple, and that meant finding explosive forward Shusuke Sato.
“If I pass the ball to him, I know he’s going to score,” Wakimoto said. “That’s why we always give him the long balls — because he can finish it.”
Wakimoto connected with Sato for two second half goals, leading the seventh-seeded Unicorns to a 2-0 upset win over the second-seeded Hornets.
Next up, Keio (12-6) will travel to No. 3 Pearl River for the semifinals on Wednesday at 3 p.m.
“Outside of Mamaroneck, that’s the best offense that we’ve seen all year,” Lakeland coach Tim Hourahan said. “Those are guys are fast, they can move the ball and they’re the best passing team in the section every year. They’re going to be a tough out.”
The Unicorns came out flying, forcing Lakeland’s junior goalkeeper Javier Gonzalez to make six of his 10 saves in the opening 20 minutes.
They also held the Hornets (14-4) without a shot on goal in the first half, but it wasn’t until Sato calmly lofted a ball over a charging Gonzalez in the 43rd minute that Keio was able to take a 1-0 lead.
“Kenta Wakimoto passed me a through ball, and I just put it up,” Sato said. “I saw that the keeper was (coming at me), so I just put it up (over his head).”
Controversy erupted in the 65th minute when Lakeland appeared to tie the game on Devin Flanagan’s throw-in, but the goal was called back after the officials determined that the ball was not touched prior to going in.
A throw-in cannot go directly in the goal without making contact with a player in the field or the goalie.
“We thought we had one,” Hourahan said. “It’s hard to see that ball go in the back of the net and have them wave it off. You could see we didn’t play as well after that.”
In the 74th minute, Sato sealed the win with a pretty header off of a long free kick from Wakimoto.
“We were trying to keep the ball on the ground and move it around,” Keio coach David Martinez said. “That was whole key — we had the ball. The less they have the ball, obviously, the less they’re going to have opportunities.”
Horace Greeley 3, Port Chester 1: In a Class AA quarterfinal at No. 11 Port Chester, Matthew Neuberger had two goals for No. 14 Greeley. Steven Carias had a goal for the Rams. The Quakers will play at No. 2 Mamaroneck in the semifinals on Wednesday at 6:15 p.m.
John Jay-EF 1, Mahopac 0: In a Class AA quarterfinal at No. 4 John Jay-EF, Ryan Metz scored the game-winner in the 76th minute. Mike Bernardi made six saves for No. 5 Mahopac. The Patriots will play at No. 1 Arlington in the semifinals on Wednesday.
Mamaroneck 3, Scarsdale 2: In a Class AA quarterfinal at No. 2 Mamaroneck, J.D. Wilson, Nick Tunic and Jonathan Maldonado each scored for the Tigers. Brandon Bank scored twice for No. 10 Scarsdale. Mamaroneck will host No. 14 Greeley in the semis on Wednesday at 6:15 p.m.
Arlington 2, Ketcham 1
Pearl River 3, Tappan Zee 1: In a Class A quarterfinal at No. 3 Pearl River Chris Coughlan and Brian Chiarello each had a goal and an assist. Mike Desposati scored a goal assisted by Marco Batista for No. 6 Tappan Zee. Pearl River will host No. 7 Keio in the semis on Wednesday at 3 p.m.
Byram Hills 4, Eastchester 0: In a Class A quarterfinal at No. 1 Byram Hills, David Lachs recorded his second consecutive hat trick. The Bobcats will host No. 4 Pelham in the semis on Wednesday at 3 p.m.
Pelham 1, Edgemont 0, OT: In a Class A quarterfinal at Glover Field, Aidan Murray scored the golden goal 11 minutes into overtime for No. 4 Pelham. The Pelicans will play at No. 1 Byram Hills in the semis on Wednesday at 3 p.m.
Irvington 1, Rye Neck 0: In a Class B quarterfinal at No. 2 Irvington, Matt Friedlander scored a goal assisted by Jon Goldreich. Teammate Ryan Havdala had nine saves. Angelo Spedafino had seven saves for No. 10 Rye Neck.
Bronxville 2, Woodlands 1: In a Class B quarterfinal at No. 1 Bronxville, Sam and Liam Aherne each scored for the Broncos. Kevin Granados scored for No. 9 Woodlands. Bronxville will host No. 4 Briarcliff in the semis on Wednesday at 3 p.m.
Briarcliff 2, North Salem 0: In a Class B quarterfinal at No. 4 Briarcliff, Ethan Krupa and Jon Cabeca each scored in the second half for the Bears. Briarcliff will play at No. 1 Bronxville in the semis on Wednesday at 3 p.m.
Blind Brook 2, Valhalla 1, OT: It’s the playoffs, and just like any other team trying to make their way to the next round, the expectation is to win.
It was no different for two-time defending Class B champ Blind Brook on Tuesday when it hosted No. 6 Valhalla.
Brendan Luke scored the golden goal from about 18 yards out on an assist from Matthew Streichler. The finish helped the third-seeded Trojans capture a 2-1 quarterfinal win in overtime and meet the expectation.
“We didn’t come into the game with the right mind and we were surprised by Valhalla,” Blind Brook coach Jozef Pomoryn said. “It took the team a while to respond.”
Going into halftime, the Vikings were up 1-0 on the Trojans. Streichler, who received a yellow card for questioning a call in the second half, helped revitalize the team by scoring in the 54th minute.
“We played better in the latter stages,” Pomoryn said. “I told the boys that they had 40 minutes to try and change things. Right away, you could see that it was a better half for us.”
Fernando Martinez recorded Valhalla’s only goal on an assist from Alvaro Alvarado in the 17th minute. Scott Wurtzel had six saves for the Trojans, who will visit No. 2 Irvington in the semifinals on Wednesday.
“It was a hard fought game on both sides,” Pomoyrn said. “It was a thriller and a nerve-wrecking game, I think. It’s the kind of game people like to watch and the kind you can play in the sectionals.”