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Rare slip costs Brentwood in state Class AA final

Brentwood's Raul Bonilla, right, consoles teammate Carlos Menjivar

Brentwood's Raul Bonilla, right, consoles teammate Carlos Menjivar foliowing their loss in the NYSPHSAA Class AA boys soccer championship at Middletown High School. (Nov. 18, 2012) Credit: Adrian Kraus

MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. -- Jeffrey Medina sat on a chair with an ice pack on his right knee and a Band-Aid on his lip from an elbow he received during the game. The Brentwood defender stared into the air in disbelief trying to digest what just happened.

Like many of his teammates, Medina was playing through pain and tired legs with seven games in 10 days and Brentwood almost came through it perfectly. But Brentwood allowed two goals in a span of 40 seconds late in the first half and a furious rally fell short.

A quest for perfection ended in the state Class AA boys soccer final as Brentwood lost to Arlington, 2-1, yesterday at Middletown High School. Brentwood, which is ranked No. 2 in the NSCAA rankings, finished 22-1.

Arlington (22-1), which won its fourth state championship, also defeated Brentwood in the state final in 2006.

"I don't want to put all the blame on that," Medina said of the grueling schedule. "We just came out a little flat in the first half. They're a great team and we will keep our heads up. Overall, we can't put our heads down because of this game. We had a great season. Not many teams go 22-1. I am glad I ended my career with this team."

Brentwood allowed six goals this season entering the game. The Indians trailed once all season and had allowed one goal in the last 12 games. Then all of a sudden the Indians were facing a 2-0 deficit.

Jeff Greblick scored off a pass from David Verdis with 5:30 left in the first half. Greblick then hit the post and Verdis scored on the rebound 40 seconds later to give Arlington a 2-0 lead.

"They are a good attacking team," Brentwood coach Ron Eden said. "That's what cost us.

"We made two mistakes, fought back and couldn't get the equalizer. It's a great season. I feel bad for the seniors."

Brentwood scored 51 seconds into the second half when Carlos Menjivar scored off a cross from Carlos Escobar to slice the deficit to 2-1. Alex Fazio made nine saves to keep Brentwood from tying it.

Brentwood played four games in four days in the Suffolk County playoffs in winning its fifth consecutive county championship.

"Who on this planet can win seven games in 10 days and not have one stumble?" Eden said. "Eventually, it was going to rear its ugly head and it did today. Every kid is banged up. We played a good opponent. Can't take anything away from them."

Said Brentwood's John Interiano: "It's tough. We were pretty tired from all these games. It's hard to have a perfect season in any sport. We almost got it but came up a little short. I think it was a successful season, but this is not what we wanted."

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