MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. — After Brentwood knocked on the door all afternoon, Brandon Yanez smashed it open in overtime to put the Indians into the state championship.
Yanez scored with 11:33 left in the second overtime to lead the Brentwood boys soccer team to a 1-0 win over Ossining in a state Class AA semifinal Saturday at Twin Towers Middle School. The Indians will play Fairport for the state title at 10 a.m. on Sunday at Middletown High School.
“It’s crazy because this is the biggest game I’ve ever played in,” said Yanez, who scored from the edge of the 6-yard box with his right foot after Eric Maldonado’s shot deflected to him. “I couldn’t believe it, especially since I’m lefty and I’m not used to using my right foot.”
It was the last of a series of good chances created by Brentwood (20-0-1), which controlled the match from the start. The Indians’ superiority was particularly evident in the first half, when they outshot their opponents, 10-1.
Though Brentwood dominated play, a combination of strong goalkeeping, a shot clanging off the crossbar and a questionable offside call in the first overtime, the match remained scoreless until Yanez put it away.
“It’s frustrating when you feel like you dominate a game and every shot hits the post or goes out or the goalkeeper saves it,” Yanez said. “You just have to make sure you keep your head up. We showed our heart.”
“These guys have battled everything this year,” coach Ron Eden said. “They just have that no-quit attitude and they played their butts off. I can’t say enough about these kids.”
Ossining (19-3-1) had a few big moments in the first overtime period, including a series in which it had an attacker free in the box, only for Brandon Mendez to sprint into position and cut off the shooting angle to end the threat.
“I wasn't really sure if I was going to get to it, but I had to give it my all because me and my boys worked too hard for it to end like that,” Mendez said. “And then I thought, ‘We need to get this goal now.’ ”
About two minutes later, Brentwood seemed like it did get that goal when Oscar Moreno put the ball into the back of the net, and though he appeared to be onside, the line judge raised his flag and the match continued.
“I’m so proud of my team for fighting through so much adversity,” said captain Alex Garcia, whose strong play has helped lead the Indians’ defense, which has allowed 12 goals all season while keeping 15 clean sheets. “It’s very hard, but we just had to keep fighting. You could see on the field that we wanted it more. We played with intensity, we were on top of them for every ball and we did not stop once.”