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Byram Hills Soccer
Byram Hills Soccer

Byram Hills takes Section One Title with 3-2 Overtime Victory

By Rich Monetti

October 29, 2017
The sixth seeded Nyack Indians were not daunted in the face of top seeded Byram Hills in the Section One, Class A finals at Lakeland on Saturday. Scoring first and last in regulation, Nyack also played toe to toe in overtime. However, the valiant effort put forth by the Indians didn’t help soften the shock when the end finally came at 9:35 of the first OT. But they weren’t the only ones suddenly taken aback and knocked off their feet when Spencer Weinhoff scored the game winner.

“I didn’t see the goal,” said Byram Hills Coach Matthew Allen. “I had just turned and looked at my wife, and the next thing I knew, my assistant coach was tackling me.”

Nonetheless, it was Wismento Saint-Germain that shook off the Bobcats all afternoon, and a lack of room in his corner didn’t seem to matter. Keeping the ball alive on the goal line, he sliced a pass in front to Brian Rivas to freeze the defense. A little more crafty foot work and Blerim Kastrati found himself on the receiving end to the right of the goal. Brian Fishman didn’t have a chance, and Nyack took the lead at 34:29.

Moments later Saint-Germain was dancing the sidelines again, but an offsides gave Byram a much needed pause. Taking the cue, the Bobcats maintained their posture and stayed on their game. Leo Waggenstein centered to Michael Kalian but his header went just over the crossbar.

The back and forth didn’t end there either as Saint-Germain put a running mate on his ticket. Obdulio Chacon came free on the centering pass to gasp the crowd, but his shot went wide.

Coach Allen had nothing but praise for Saint-Germain nonetheless. “The best part of his game is that he is unselfish,” said Allen. “He makes his moves and always looks to dish off.”

Of course, Byram Hills definitely had a strategy for the standout. “We’ve noticed that he has difficulty passing with his left foot so we kept forcing him to the left,” said Defenseman Max Matza.

Doing all they could to lock him down, the Byram Hills offense finally got something to give. With just under six minutes remaining, the ball came loose to Kalian in front. He made the most of the indecision and put the ball into the net at the 5:57 mark.

Exactly a minute later, the Bobcats made the most of another bounce. On Max Hammond’s long clear, Weinhoff outran and outmaneuvered red and black jersey’s all around. “I was going neck and neck with the defense and the ball bounced to the left,” said the Bobcat Forward. “I saw the goalie and bumped it right with my chest. After that, I knew I had a good angle to the empty net. I shot and I didn’t even look at the goal.”

The sudden turn of events, and the intermission didn’t have a hangover affect for Nyack, though. The Indian offense definitely stepped up their game with Saint-Germain and Chacon leading the way.

With 22 minutes remaining, the duo really showed what they were made of. Saint-Germain eluded an onslaught of Bobcat defenders in his corner, and when he found Chacon to right of the goal, Fishman was faced with pointblank. But he got their just in time to make the save.

20 minutes gone by, though, the Bobcat crowd sensed the championship - despite what Allen told his players at halftime. “This game is not ending 2-1,” he conveyed afterwards, and at 19:56, he was proven right.

On a penalty kick from the 40, Fishman seemed to misjudge Benjamin Starks sinking line drive kick, and the ball snuck under the crossbar. Beck, on the other hand, was up to the task on the Bobcat’s last best chance in regulation.

On a penalty kick from the 20 with 3:32 left in the game, the Nyack goalie made a diving save to wow the Indian crowd.

Fortunately, the Bobcats didn’t make their faithful wait too long to get the last exclamation. On a corner kick, the ball sailed past Ryan Noel’s head and Weishoff took it from there. “I sat back at the back post,” said Weishoff. “Right place, right time, I just ran through it,” he said.

The state regional semifinal is next. Weishoff and crew are ready to topple that wall too when they play Goshen, Section Nine champions, on Wednesday November 1, 6:00 p.m. at Middletown High School.

Rich Monetti’s game photographs are available for purchase:

Alexis Steffen
Alexis Steffen, Photo Lou Monaco
Alexis Steffen
Alexis Steffen, Photo Lou Monaco

BHHS Grad Competes for USGA Championship
By Lou Monaco

June 28, 2017
Eight days after her graduation from Byram Hills High School, Alexis Steffen of Armonk was competing for a coveted spot in a USGA golf championship.

Steffen, who will be attending the University of Richmond this fall, shot a 12-over-par 83 (46-37) to finish in 29th place in a Sectional Qualifying tournament for the 2017 US Women's Amateur Championship Wednesday at Forsgate Country Club (Banks Course) in Monroe Township, New Jersey.

41 golfers, including 14 from New York, each played 18 holes in hopes of securing one of four coveted spots (in addition to two alternates) to the US Women’s Amateur Championship, to be held at San Diego Country Club in Chula Vista, California on August 7-13.

Teeing off from hole 10 on the back nine at 8:55 a.m. and paired with Noelle Martz of Clark, New Jersey and Samantha Perrotta of Bordentown, New Jersey, Steffen might have wished she played the front nine first as she carded two double-bogeys on the par-4 11th and par-4 14th en route to a front nine score of 11-over 46.

“I was a little nervous on the front obviously as this was only my second individual USGA sectional qualifying tournament ever. It was a good experience, playing with older women and being in a USGA event always adds a bit more pressure,” said Steffen, who leaves for school orientation on August 23.

Steffen, who plays out of historic Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, recovered quite nicely on the back side, shooting a 1-over-par 37, including her first birdie on the day on the par-4, 340-yard fourth hole.

Steffen still has a few more tournaments left this summer before embarking on her college career.

“Next week, I play in the Junior North & South Championship down at Pinehurst, NC, the New York State Women’s Amateur, and then who knows after that,” said Steffen. “The past five weeks I haven’t been playing great. I’ve really worked on my game the past week and a half and I’ve been grinding. I’ve been working on slowing down my tempo and that’s really what happened on the back nine today as far as improvement. I definitely have confidence going into next week.”

15-year-old Kaitlyn Lee of Scarsdale, Steffen’s partner in last October’s USGA US Women's Amateur Four-Ball Championship Sectional Qualifying tournament at Brooklake Country Club in Florham Park, New Jersey, also participated and finished with a strong score of 5-over-par 76 (35-41), tying for fourth-place and participated in a three-way playoff, advancing to the final playoff against Valerie Tanquay of Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada.

Lee finished as the first alternate to Tanquay, who secured the fourth and final qualifying spot, in a playoff.

Lee, a junior this fall at Scarsdale High School, also started at the 10th hole and started out strong with a birdie on the par-4, 394-yarder and gave one back with a bogey on the par-5, 512-yard 13th hole to finish her front nine at even-par 35, tying for first place at the time with Nadine White of Buies Creek, Australia, who finished in a four-way tie for seventh place.

The Banks Course played as a 6,338-yard, par-71 layout.