The Webutuck boys soccer team was chapped about entering the playoffs as a fourth seed. How could such a talented group, one that had reached the final a year ago, not have earned a higher slot?
But this wasn’t the Warriors pointing a finger. No, this was a lament of their own early-season transgressions.
Webutuck made that moot on Wednesday, beating second-seeded Millbrook High School, 3-0, to capture the Section 9 Class C title at Faller Field in Middletown.
Chris Reed had two assists and Fabian Vega, Chris Milano and defender Favel Deleon each scored for the Warriors (8-8). Hunter Coulthard made three saves in the shutout.
Webutuck faces an opponent to be determined in the sub-regional round next week.
“It feels amazing to win a championship,” Deleon said. “We almost did last year, now we got it. Nothing is impossible.”
Although it did seem improbable early on, when Webutuck was 2-7 and coach Kevin Doyle was benching players for disciplinary reasons.
“There was some laziness in practice, kids goofing around too much, things got out of hand,” Doyle said. “I had to punish them and it cost us some games. They understood… But when we got it together, we made some noise.”
Because of that, Doyle said, the Warriors were “much better” than a fourth seed. And this performance was proof.
Vega put the Warriors on the board, scoring on a feed from Reed, who slipped a pass through the defense, enabling the midfielder to tap it in from close range.
“Getting it started, that’s what pumped up the team,” Vega said. “We needed energy and we got it from that.”
Millbrook’s midfield controlled pace and possession, but Webutuck’s defense limited their scoring opportunities, Doyle said. And the Warriors offense capitalized on their chances, despite the heavy rain.
“We got through it and we got three goals out of it,” Reed said. “We’re good.”
Better than a fourth seed, in fact.
Journal photographer Patrick Oehler contributed to this story. Stephen Haynes: [email protected]; 845-437-4826, Twitter: @StephenHaynes4