LaGRANGEVILLE – Hastings must have been saving its best for last.
The fourth-seeded Yellow Jackets went 110 minutes without scoring in their Class B semifinal against Blind Brook on Thursday before advancing to the final on penalty kicks. Matched up against defending champion Rye Neck on Saturday at Arlington High, the Hastings offense went off.
When the dust settled, the Yellow Jackets had a dominant 4-0 win and their first section title since 2007.
They’ll play Section 9 champion Spackenkill in the regional semifinals at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday at Lakeland High.
“It’s been a long time since we won,” sophomore Alex Bourgeois said. “Rye Neck is a great team and Blind Brook is a great team, but we were just hungry.”
None of Hastings’ four goals came easy.
Nate Constantine got the scoring starting in the fifth minute, booming a shot from 30 yards out which curled perfectly into the top left corner of the net.
“I’ll be honest,” Constantine said with a wide smile. “I just tried to hit it as hard as I could and hoped for the best.”
Bourgeois sniped in a free kick in the 20th minute to make it 2-0, and six minutes later, another Bourgeois free kick found Jackson Silverstein’s head for a goal.
With a 3-0 lead at halftime, the Yellow Jackets could smell the title — “We saw that we had the section in our hands,” Constantine said — and Oscar De Medeiros sealed it with another long range goal in the 59th minute.
Hastings earned the championship by beating the teams which had won the previous four Class B titles — Blind Brook, which won three straight titles from 2011-13, and Rye Neck, which won last year.
“We think we have the talent to be known throughout the section for soccer,” Constantine said. “We felt that this was our year and we thought, ‘Let’s take it.’ ”
Player of the game: Alex Bourgeois, Hastings — The sophomore was lethal on free kicks, placing them with precision throughout the game. He also helped defend some of Rye Neck’s top players, most notably Luis Galeano, which led to a shutout win.
“Today, I just went for it,” Bourgeois said.
Turning point: After failing to score a goal in the semifinals, Yellow Jackets came out with purpose and put No. 7 Rye Neck into an insurmountable hole with three goals in the opening 26 minutes.
“We didn’t like the feeling of going to PKs,” Constantine said. “We said, ‘Let’s score early,’ and we did it.”
Stat line: Hastings (15-2-3) — Constantine, Bourgeois, Silverstein and De Medeiros scored while Bourgeois and John Cellabos had assists. Daymon Theodule made five saves. Rye Neck (12-6-2) — Tom Bermingham made five saves.
Quotable: “The last time that we faced them (a 2-1 loss in the regular season), we came out pretty weak,” Constantine said. “Our heads weren’t in it, we were cocky from beating them the last time and we had a couple of injured players on the team. This time, coming off of a hard game against Blind Brook, we really had confidence and that helped us win this game.”