The J. Taylor Finley Middle School boys’ soccer team turned in a very successful season. The Falcons compiled a 6-4 mark with all of the losses coming by one goal each.
Coached by Travis Smith and captained by Vincent Grassi, Brody Gordon and Alexis Vazquez-Cruz, the 29-player team featured many impressive players and was altogether formidable.
Peter Leavy and Bryan Lizama led the offense with seven goals each. Jose Flores had five goals and Vince Grassi, Teddy Leavy and Jose Cabrera-Zelaya Jr. all had four goals apiece. Justin Alvarez-Moreira scored twice and Roman Borovica, Brody Gordon, Nikolai Lulewich and Brayon Santos-Mendez had one goal each.
The highlight of the season was a 9-5 victory over Candlewood. “We were down by three goals late in the third period,” Smith said. “This team has heart, drive and determination to never give up. The future is bright for the boys’ soccer program.”
The team’s top forwards were Peter Leavy, Bryan Lizama and Jose Flores. Vince Grassi, Peter Breingan and Teddy Leavy led the midfield. Anchoring the defensive unit were Brody Gordon, Alexis Vazquez-Cruz, Connor Boyle, Aiden Delfino, Thomas Breingan and Raymond Cumella.
Goalkeepers Dylan Hayden and Jeffrey Garcia-Cabrera also shined. Both recorded three shutouts during the season.
Finley defeated West Hollow-Red (3-0), Candlewood-Red (9-5), Northport-Blue (4-2), East Northport-Blue (5-3), West Hollow-White (5-0) and Candlewood-White (5-0). The Falcons dropped one goal games to Northport-Gold (1-0), East Northport-Gold (2-1), Lindenhurst-Green (4-3) and Lindenhurst-White (3-2).
Finley’s roster also included Conor Boyle, Edgar Canales, Jonathan Diaz-Campos, Maximus Downey, Josiah Freeman, Daniel Funes, Ethan Goleski, Franklin Granados, Varun Ratti and Chase Williams.
Coach Smith has been a Huntington physical education teacher since September 1998. A member of Huntington High School’s Class of 1992, he obtained a bachelor’s degree at SUNY Brockport and a masters’ degree at Stony Brook University. He has coached wrestling on both the middle school and high school levels and earned many awards, including national varsity assistant coach of the year in 2004. He has also coached boys’ soccer and lacrosse on the middle school level.