A late goal by Riverdale freshman Julian Burden killed Poly Prep’s hope of a comeback last Friday.
The tally in the 75th minute proved to be the winner for the host Falcons in a 2–1 victory in Ivy League boys’ soccer on Sept. 18. The Blue Devils (2–1) finally broke through with a Ben Miles goal with about eight minutes left in the game. But Riverdale quickly responded with Burden’s winning goal.
“We showed that we could come back from being down 1–0,” said Poly co-captain Dayo Adeosun. “We showed that we could fight back.”
Two minutes into the game, sophomore Drew Dworkin scored to give the Falcons a 1–0 lead. Poly Prep then saw a corner kick blocked by Riverdale senior Edward Hermann. It was a back-and-forth game after that.
Poly got a big save from goalkeeper Michael Wirtz on a shot by Dworkin in the 27th minute to help keep the Falcons, the defending NYSAISAA champion, up just 1–0 at the half. Early after the break, Poly had a chance to tie it on a corner kick, but Jack Hurkman’s shot went high before Miles finally got the equalizer.
The Falcons added 10 players this year, half of them freshmen, to replace the seniors lost to graduation. They are also preparing for the future, knowing that they are going to lose a lot of seniors after this season. One of freshman, Burden, paid big dividends against Poly. He was brought up from the junior varsity for the game.
“We were able to bring up a striker and he scored the game winner,” Riverdale coach Andrew Fitzgerald said. “It’s pretty unheard of.”
Poly senior co-captain Austin Sansone helped lead the team with seven attempts in the game, including a combined effort with Adeosun in the second half that was blocked by Riverdale senior Sam Barovick. Adeosun had two additional shots of his own and a crucial block on a Riverdale corner kick. Co-captain Jake Barry also had two shots in the game.
Despite a tough defeat, Poly played right with one of the league’s best teams. The seniors still have high hopes for this year.
“This is our last season,” Barry said. “We’re winning the championship.”