Warwick. The Warwick Boys Varsity Soccer Team defeats Newburgh Free Academy 2-0 for the Section 9 championship.

| 10 Nov 2021 | 12:35

The Warwick Boys Varsity Soccer Team has been tearing up the pitch in what has turned out to be a stellar season and a Section 9 Championship. Their regular and post season combined record stands at 15-1-1.

The season started with a Wildcat onslaught against Delaware Valley to result in an easy 7-0 win. Next up was longtime rival Goshen, who fell to the Cats 3-2 with both of the Gladiator’s goals coming from penalty kicks. The Valley Central Vikings visited Warwick’s turf but went home with no horns after suffering a 1-0 loss to the Wildcats.

Warwick was feeling good after these first three wins but their momentum would take a pause. With some of Warwick’s players sidelined due to injuries the Cats would suffer a 1-0 loss to Cornwall at the Sanfordville pitch.

The loss was a blow to the boys, but they picked themselves up and traveled to Newburgh to take down NFA with a decisive 2-0 win. The boys then traveled to soccer powerhouse and defending Section 9 champion, Monroe-Woodbury. Playing in the torrential rain the Warwick boys showed Monroe-Woodbury how it’s done with a 3-0 win.

Two days later the Cats would play the Crusaders again as they hosted them at Sanfordville. A grudge match for sure, the game resulted in a 1-1 tie.

From there it was smooth sailing for the boys as they notched a seven-game winning streak. Middletown would fall to the Cats in decisive home and away victories of 4-1 and 5-0.

At this point it was becoming clear that the boys would be earning a spot in the Section 9 playoffs. Kingston couldn’t withstand the pressure and would succumb to Warwick with 3-0 and 2-0 Wildcat victories, home and away.

Now #1 in the Section 9 standings, the Cats would travel to Pine Bush. Although putting up a good fight in the first half of the game, the Bushmen would ultimately buckle to the Cat’s prowess in a 3-0 Wildcat victory. With the season in its final stretch, the Warwick Varsity boys once again met Newburgh and Valley Central resulting in two more wins to add to their collection.

The final regular season game would be a rematch against Pine Bush on Warwick’s pitch where the boys would put an exclamation mark on their regular season with another 2-0 win sealing up the #1 spot in the Section 9 regular season.

Statistics tell some of the story

The 15-game regular season saw the Wildcat’s score 41 goals while only allowing six goals. The Cat’s attack was led by team Captain and striker Joseph Holder who is credited with 20 regular season goals. Supporting Joe on the attack were his fellow forwards Henry McKenna, Ben Samberg, Kayden Zachgo, Luke Tannar, Edgar Torres, Austin Browning, Cesar Polonia, Harry Coard and Owen Tillinghast.

The midfield was locked down by Captain Luke Harrison with the help of his fellow mid-fielders Sawyer Masefield, Carson Rother, Jake McGowan and Kieran Gilson.

Defense 10 shutouts

Creating the defensive wall was senior Jason Luhavalja and his fellow teammates Sam Randall, Trevor Stevens, James Unger, and Ramon Irizarry. And finally, guarding the net was starting goalkeeper Aden Razukiewicz with support from his back-up keepers Chase Rother and Drew Borner who combined for 10 regular season shut-outs.

The playoffs

With their fantastic regular season behind them, the team headed to the Section 9 playoffs. Their #1 ranking would earn them a buy in the first round of playoffs and send them directly to the semi-finals. The #1 Cats would again meet #4 Pine Bush on the pitch at Hudson Sports Complex for a sunny mid-afternoon game. Plenty of fans were on hand as the Cats put on one in the next within the first few minutes of the game. A resounding 4-1 victory over Pine Bush would send the Cats on their way to Middletown’s Faller Field for the Section 9 Championship game!

The Wildcat’s opponent for the championship game would be the #3 Newburgh Free Academy Goldbacks who defeated #2 Monroe-Woodbury in the semi-final. Although the Goldbacks put up resistance, Warwick’s Jake McGown would find Captain Joe Holder for the first goal of the game. Heading into halftime the Cats maintained their lead over the Goldbacks 1-0. Second half play would see Cesar Polonia cross the ball to Jake McGowan who put it away and sealed the Cats fate as they notched a 2-0 Section 9 championship game win. The fans erupted in cheers and the players rejoiced on the pitch as the referee blew the final whistle. Congratulations to the 2021-2022 Warwick Boys Varsity Soccer Team as they brought the Section 9 championship title back home where it belongs.

Go Wildcats!