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Men’s Soccer Thwarts Westchester CC in Region 15 Playoffs

Men’s Soccer Thwarts Westchester CC in Region 15 Playoffs

RCC Soccer - Peter Mongan

DATE: October 24, 2016

Men’s Soccer Thwarts Westchester CC in Region 15 Playoffs

Spurred by second-half goals from Luis Birchett and Kenny Aviles, the Men’s Soccer team upset host Westchester Community College, 2-1, in a quarterfinal match on October 22 to advance to the semifinal round of the 2016 NJCAA Region 15 Division III Tournament. The No. 5-seeded Hawks avenged a 6-1 loss to the No. 4-seeded Vikings during the regular season.

RCC travels to top-seeded Suffolk CC on Wednesday, October 26 for their semifinal match. Dutchess CC plays host Nassau CC in the other semi the same day, with the championship game slated for October 29.

The Hawks trailed by 1-0 at halftime against Westchester before goals by Birchett, a freshman forward from Panama, and Aviles, a freshman forward out of Albertus Magnus HS, turned the game in their favor. Freshman Kevin Maloney, normally a right fullback on defense, stepped in as goalkeeper and filled the role admirably. RCC has lost three goalkeepers this season due to injury or ineligibility.

Coach Danny Samimi made a tactical adjustment that paid dividends in the victory, shifting his alignment of players from 4 backfield, 4 midfield and 2 forward, to 4 backfield, 2 midfield, 3 forward and 1 striker. The two defensive midfielders were rotated in and out constantly to maintain freshness.

“The main reason for our win was our players’ discipline; they were more disciplined than ever before,” Samimi said. “I gave everyone a defined role, and they all delivered.”