Jericho looks to make another run to states

Jericho's Zach Cohen heads a ball during boy's Jericho's Zach Cohen heads a ball during boy's soccer practice. (Sept. 5, 2012) Photo Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

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Jericho burst onto the scene last year with an unexpected run to the state championship, the school's first outright state title. The Jayhawks,who 16-2-2 overall, are poised to continue their success this year in Class A.

"This year I think they'll work even harder," coach Dani Braga said. "I think they're hungry to defend their titles."

Jericho lost only three players to graduation and will be returning all five starters on a defense that held opponents to one goal in seven postseason games. Defender Harrison Reiber and forward Derek Medolla, both seniors, will lead the Jayhawks' quest for another state title.

At Roslyn, senior Brian Cardoza and junior Brandon Friedman will lead the offense while senior defender Seth Bolnick will be key on the defense for the Bulldogs, who are looking for a little retribution this year after losing 1-0 to Jericho in the conference semifinals.

Senior midfielders Marc Schwendemann, Jack Metzler and Patrick Keogh will lead Garden City, which is a deep team with eight juniors and eight seniors.

Senior defender Mark Romanowski, who is committed to Princeton, is back to lead South Side.

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Seniors Jose Carvajal, Jon Rivera and Lucas Panebianco return to lead Island Trees, which looks to make a run at a county championship after losing to Jericho in the county final.

Wantagh, led by 13 seniors, looks to improve on last year's one-win campaign.

CLASS AA

In Class AA, Hicksville won its first Class AA state championship since 1979 last year. But the Comets lost 17 players to graduation, including nine starters. Senior midfielder Kyle Poetzsch is poised for a huge season and senior forward Robert Aranov will also contribute. Senior goalkeeper Brian McPartland, a four-year starter, leads the defense.

Massapequa has been a perennial powerhouse for years and this season will be no different. The Chiefs will have 18 seniors and nine juniors on the roster.

Senior forward Shane Mandel and junior midfielder Scott DeBenedittis will lead Syosset, and senior defender Adam Nessim also returns after missing all of last season with a knee injury.

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Uniondale will have a young team this year, but will look to playing possession-based soccer as a key to its success. Senior Marlon Mena, junior Alvaro Baquendano and sophomore Mauricio Martinez, all midfielders, will lead the way.

CLASS B

After a heart-breaking 1-0 loss in the Class B state championship, Wheatley will look to make another run at the title. Junior midfielders Matt Huhn and Jacob Dinetz will look to pick up the slack after the Wildcats lost 10 players to graduation. Wheatley will be going for its third straight county title.

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Carle Place looks to be the favorite to unseat Wheatley with nine returning starters. Juniors Matt Carr, Dylan Klein and John Guzzo all bring experience and will try to lead the Frogs on a run to the county title.

Senior defenders John Miritello and Mike Mulderrig will lead a defense-oriented Cold Spring Harbor team. Junior midfielders Greg Suter and Riley Cassidy will be important contributors on offense.

CLASS C

Senior captains Kyle Dineen, David Sher and Kevin Naughton will pace Friends Academy, the lone Class C representative in Nassau.

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