LAGRANGEVILLE —It was déjà vu all over again for Blind Brook.
Despite dominating possession and outshooting Spackenkill in last year’s regional semifinal, the three-time defending Section 1 Class B champs came out on the losing end. The Trojans suffered the same fate in Wednesday’s regional semi against Section 9 champ Rhinebeck, losing a 2-1 heartbreaker on a long distance free kick goal from Seth McClenahan just 1:08 into overtime.
“We played a great game,” Blind Brook coach Josef Pomoryn said. “Yes, there were mistakes, but we played a great game. As they say, maybe we were lacking some coolness in the situations inside the box – especially in the second half. But hey, their goalie played well, and in soccer if you score more than the opponent, then you’re the winner.”
McClenahan struck first in the 11th minute to give the Hawks (18-2) a 1-0 lead, but Blind Brook equalized in the 32nd minute on a goal from senior striker Joe DiBerardino.
While play was pretty even in the first half, the Trojans (15-5-1) took control in the second half. They got off 11 shots and only allowed Rhinebeck to take one, but missed the frame on a handful of quality opportunities.
“I was talking to them and saying that we needed to make better decisions, and we needed to see the situation that we were finding ourselves in,” Pomoryn said. “Sometimes you want to take the shot, and suddenly there is enough space for you to take one more touch and come closer to the goal.”
Just about a minute into overtime, a foul call gave Rhinebeck a free kick from over 30 yards out, and McClenahan hit a high arcing shot that went in over goalkeeper Scott Wurtzel’s head.
“Sometimes you just get a feeling in your gut,” McClenahan said. “I felt like I had that. I saw that the back corner was open.”
The golden goal ended a tremendous run for the Trojans, who won their third straight section title despite having graduated goalkeeper Ben Seguljic, who was The Journal News 2012 Westchester/Putnam player of the year.
“We didn’t have Ben, and when we came into this season, we weren’t really expecting too much,” DiBerardino said. “We really came together as a team in the middle of the season, and towards the end, we were really rolling. We learned to play our game and defined ourselves. We were playing a game that was hard to play against.”
Photos by Frank Becerra Jr./The Journal News