Whitman Ends Playoff Drought

Witman Hernandez (19) knows where his shot is headed and Deer Parks #10 can see his goalie is not where he needs to be.
Witman Hernandez (19) knows where his shot is headed and Deer Parks #10 can see his goalie is not where he needs to be.
Robin Bolanos never gave up as he kept the pressure on the Deer Park goalie.
Robin Bolanos never gave up as he kept the pressure on the Deer Park goalie.
Michael Lorello can usually be found wherever the ball is.
Michael Lorello can usually be found wherever the ball is.
Whitman senior goalie Dan Zagorski, with ball, recorded his ninth shutout of the season.
Whitman senior goalie Dan Zagorski, with ball, recorded his ninth shutout of the season.
Captain Brandon Drum (7) takes a shot on goal.
Captain Brandon Drum (7) takes a shot on goal.
Ready for his close-up, Witman Hernandez (19) is the epitome of concentration.
Ready for his close-up, Witman Hernandez (19) is the epitome of concentration.
Late in the game teammates Darwin Hernandez, left, and Witman Hernandez (19) work together for another shot on goal.
Late in the game teammates Darwin Hernandez, left, and Witman Hernandez (19) work together for another shot on goal.
Darwin Hernandez (11) with a header shot in the right direction. Unfortunately it hit the pipe and narrowly missed going in.
Darwin Hernandez (11) with a header shot in the right direction. Unfortunately it hit the pipe and narrowly missed going in.
Oscar Alfaro takes control in front of an incredible crowd.
Oscar Alfaro takes control in front of an incredible crowd.

Whitman entered the 2013 soccer playoffs with a tentative first half against Deer Park. “In the first 15 minutes, Deer Park looked very dangerous and we came out a little flat,” conceded Whitman Varsity Coach John DiGiacomo. Deer Park kept at Whitman Goalie Dan Zagorski (4 saves) and had many solid attempts to go ahead, but the senior captain had other ideas about how this game should end. “That’s the sign of a good team, they are able to weather the tough times,” said the Whitman coach. “After a good 20 minutes into the first period, we settled our play and began to control the ball giving ourselves a number of opportunities.” 

To Deer Park’s credit, their goalie Jeremy Friend made outstanding saves as Whitman seniors Robin Bolanos, Darwin Hernandez, Brandon Drum, and Duglas Garcia kept the pressure on with the first half ending in a pair of zeros.

The second half opened with a determined Wildcat team, as junior Oscar Alfaro and sophomores Witman Hernandez and Michael Lorello added to the strength of the core seniors. “In the second half we controlled a lot of the play,” said Coach DiGiacomo. “We were knocking on the door, it was just a mater of when.”  When– came with 2:53 left in the game as Witman Hernandez collected a rebound off a shot by Robin Bolanos and pounded it home to give the Wildcats the lead. “Were seeing some great things from Witman, and as a sophomore he will only get better,” added Coach DiGiacomo. TJ DePasquale, Jeff Sully, Derrick Ramos, and Albert Martinez played stellar defense to help secure the win. 

So the Wildcats celebrated their first playoff win in 17 years 1-0. News 12 was on hand to document the happenings, and the team heard from coaches DiGiacomo and Brian Karcz. “Enjoy the win, but we must get ready for Friday, because all the teams who make the playoffs are good,” the coaches said to the team after the game. And indeed they are right, as the Wildcats will now go up against number one ranked Smithtown West.

Please come out and support the team in the Suffolk County Quarterfinals this Friday at Smithtown West at 2pm.