With the playoffs right around the corner, the Half Hollow Hills High School East boys soccer team has picked the right time to get hot. As of press time Monday, in the second half of the 2014 season the Thunderbirds (8-3-1) are undefeated with five straight wins and tied atop League II with Walt Whitman (8-3-1) for first place.
On Oct. 16, the Thunderbirds secured the first place seating with a 3-0 win over Smithtown East (7-3-2).
In the shutout, Hills East striker Wesley Bosse recorded his fifth-straight game with at least a point as the senior scored what would turn out to be the game-winning goal.
“It [came off of] a throw-in from my defender Matty D’Alessandro,” Bosse said of the goal-scoring play. “[I had a] defender on my back so I turned and let the ball roll [past]. [Then there] was another defender on me [so I] pushed it aside him. The keeper came out [so I hit the ball] with my left foot [and] put it into the back of the net.”
Another senior, David August also scored along with junior Taylor Kaczynski, a Hills East midfielder. Samuel Steinberg, a sophomore, recorded his first assist of the season in the win. In net, junior Justin Katz made 5 saves for his third shutout of the year.
“We’ve been working really hard this season,” Bosse, who leads Hills East in scoring with 9 goals, said. “[But] we need to work harder now as a team and as a family because that’s what the back of our shirts say; we’re a big family.”
Working harder, Bosse said, may be the key to the Thunderbirds aspirations for a league championship. As of Monday, with two games left to play this season, Hills East would face two fellow playoff teams.
Hills East lost on Monday to Whitman 1-3. On Wednesday, the Thunderbirds final home game of the season was against Central Islip (7-5).
Regardless of the results, the playoffs start now for Hills East. Depending on where the team is seeded, the Thunderbirds will play either on Saturday –a play-in game – or on Oct. 28. Where the game is played is also dependent on the Thunderbirds seed – if they are the higher seed then they’ll have a home game.