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Edison Arias Velasquez, Jeffrey Moran lead Westbury to first Nassau boys soccer title 

Enter the Dragon? How about enter the Westbury Green Dragons into the Nassau boys soccer history books.

Edison Arias Velasquez and Jeffrey Moran each scored twice as No. 3 Westbury won its first Nassau boys soccer title in school history after a convincing 4-1 win against No. 5 Uniondale in the Nassau Class AA boys soccer final at Mitchel Field before a crowd of more than 1,000 Wednesday night.

Westbury (11-4-1) plays the Huntington/West Islip winner at 3 p.m. Sunday at Longwood for the Long Island Class AA championship.

"This means so much to us," said Velasquez, who has four goals in his last two games. "It was our first time reaching the final and now first title, and to be the first team to do it for coach [Chris Valentini] is incredible because he does so much for us and this program."

Valentini joked that he wasn’t sure how many years he has been the head coach.

"I think it’s 18 years, but don’t tell anybody," Valentini said, jokingly. "I don’t tell anyone how much money I make, or how many years I’ve been coaching. All I know to do is work hard, and I’ll work hard until they put me into the ground."

Over the years Westbury usually has talent, but the question has always been -- do they have the toughness to compete against the biggest and best in Nassau Class AA?

That question was answered in resounding fashion in the final. Velasquez, who celebrated his 17th birthday on Wednesday, scored late in the first half and with 32:31 left in the second half as Westbury led 3-0.

Moran, who Valentini calls "the hardest worker on the team" scored in the 17th minute and in the 52nd minute as the game got away from Uniondale, who lost their starting center back to a lower-leg injury in the first few minutes of the contest.

"I’m proud of my guys," said Uniondale coach Cohen Nelson, who went over to the Westbury team after the game and gave words of encouragement for the Green Dragons to continue their season. "We used hard work plus chemistry to equal success to get here, but they were the better team tonight."

Joseph Lopez converted a penalty kick with less than four minutes remaining to get Uniondale on the board. Westbury topped Uniondale, 2-1, on the road on Oct. 13 in the teams’ only regular-season meeting.

Many players pointed to an early season skid when the Green Dragons dropped four straight games after a 2-0 start. Westbury is 10-0-1 in its last 11 games since that losing streak, and is just one game away from a trip to Middletown and a state semifinal appearance.

"This group has won two conference titles, made two Nassau semifinal appearances and has now won a championship the last four years," Valentini said. "We’ve had some injuries in the past, and some bad luck, but we finally stayed healthy, and just as important, stayed meantally tough, too."

It seems the team finally took on the personality of their rugged and humble coach.

"Each and every match, and each and every day all we do is grind," said Valentini, smiling and clutching a game ball that he planned to put in Westbury’s trophy case. "We don’t know anything, but working hard and giving 100 percent. You work hard and good things happen."

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