Eighth grader Bryan Lizama scored 21 goals to pace the J. Taylor Finley Middle School boys’ soccer team coached by Travis Smith to a 9-0-1 mark this year.
While Lizama was clearly a star, he wasn’t a one man show by any means. “This was a complete team effort,” Smith said. “Everyone contributed to the team’s success.”
The top seventh grade players included forwards Colin Lennon (10 goals) and Antonio Leotta; midfielders Justin Villatoro, Jhordan Hernandez, Connor Fox, Brian Lynch, Anthony Addeo, Gustavo Flores, Luke Wesnofske and James Vohs; defenders Jerson Contreras and Andrew Case and goalie Nicholas Plachta.
The top eighth grade players included forwards Bryan Lizama and Jose Flores (seven goals); midfielders Teddy Leavy (six goals), Peter Leavy (five goals), Leuris Tavarez and Justin Alvarez; defenders Raymond Cumella, Eddie Canales, Jose Cabrera, Emil Licona and Chase Williams and goalie Dylan Hayden.
Finley defeated West Hollow-Red (4-0), Northport-Gold (4-2), East Northport-Gold (8-0), Candlewood-Red (6-0), Northport-White (12-3), East Northport-White (6-2), Lindenhurst-White (3-0), Candlewood-White (7-1) and West Hollow-White (6-0). A game with Lindenhurst-Green ended in a 4-4 tie.
“We had a very hardworking, skillful and competitive team,” Smith said. “Our defense and goaltending was strong. Our offense was explosive with multiple playmaker and goal scorers. Goals were scored by 14 different players. Our goalies and defenders combined for five shutouts.”
Lizama and the Leavy brothers were the team captains. Defeating a highly regarded Lindenhurst-White team, 3-0 was the highlight of the fall for Finley.
“Our undefeated season was a whole team effort; everyone gave it their all,” Teddy Leavy said. “Coach Smith guided us to achieve this great record.”