Jericho advances to Class A soccer final

Jericho's Matt Roberts, right, and Tyler Amodio celebrate Jericho's Matt Roberts, right, and Tyler Amodio celebrate following their win. (Nov. 19, 2011) Photo Credit: Adam Kraus

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MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. -- Jake Falk was not pleased with the way he was playing to end the regular season. The Jericho senior midfielder spent a lot of time during the postseason working on crosses.

It certainly paid big dividends Saturday night. Falk made two pinpoint crosses leading to two goals for Jericho in a 3-0 win over East Syracuse-Minoa in a state Class A boys soccer semifinal at Middletown High School.

Jericho (15-2-2) has won 10 consecutive games and will play Maine-Endwell (12-3) in the state championship game at 3 p.m. Sunday at Middletown High School. Jericho aims for its first outright state championship. The Bayhawks were co-state champions in 2004.

Derek Medolla, Jon Amodio, and David Orr scored goals and Ari Lewis made five saves in the shutout. East Syracuse-Minoa finished the season 14-6-2.

"During the playoffs I have been practicing my crosses every day," Falk said. "It's a phenomenal feeling. It's my senior season and I expected more, but we're winning games. I can't complain about that."

Said Jericho coach Dani Braga: "He's had a little bit of trouble with his touches lately. We have been working on it. He's an extremely fast player on the outside for us and he's been great lately."

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The first goal came just 4:05 into the game. Glenn Hyams played the ball to Falk, who said he heard Medolla yelling for it. He sent a cross right to Medolla's foot and he scored for a 1-0 lead.

"It's huge to get one so early," Medolla said. "It gives us all the momentum and allowed us to keep attacking and it showed."

Falk had another good cross and this time Jon Amodio scored with 9:35 left in the first half. The Jayhawks added the final goal with 5:05 left in the game on a goal by Orr. "We came out firing," Braga said. "They were pumped up in practice all week."

Once again the Jayhawks' defense was dominant. They have allowed two goals in the last 10 games, including just one in six postseason games.

"We're organized defensively," Reiber said.

Jericho was the ninth seed in the Nassau Class A playoffs and that didn't sit well with the Jayhawks considering they were co-conference champions. While they expected to compete for a county title, they didn't expect to be in the state championship game prior to the season. "With a new coach you don't know what to expect," Medolla said. "Dani has done a great job with the team."

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