By Andrew Wroblewski
The Walt Whitman Wildcats won the high school’s first-ever state boys soccer championship this weekend.
Senior forward Witman Hernandez capped off his record-setting season by scoring two goals in the Wildcats’ 5-1 win over upstate Ballston Spa in the championship game, which was played at Middletown High School.
In the Suffolk County championship game 10 days earlier, Hernandez became the school’s all-time leading scorer and, on Saturday during the state semifinal game, he also snagged Whitman’s single-season scoring record.
With 27 goals this season, Hernandez surpassed the record set by current Whitman coach Brian Karcz. Hernandez was named Whitman’s most valuable player this season.
In the state championship game, the Wildcats (20-1-1) pounced on Ballston Spa (20-1-1) early. Whitman led 3-0 come halftime after Michael Lorello scored twice and Hernandez scored his first goal. In the second half, Hernandez added his second goal and Blake Aronson scored as well. Hernandez, Aronson and Fabrizio Chamorro also recorded an assist in the win.
On Saturday during the semifinal game, the Wildcats started off slow, but ultimately defeated Hilton High School 7-3. Whitman led just 1-0 at halftime, but exploded for six goals in the second half for the win.
Hernandez led all scorers, with three goals, Lorello scored twice, and both Aronson Anthony Palazzolo each scored one goal. Palazzolo, Aronson, Jon Consolo, Noel Reyes and Javier Dubon each added assists for Whitman. Goalkeeper Austin Salas made four saves to preserve the victory.