There were a myriad of reasons why Midwood came up empty in the championship game for the second straight year. The Hornets lost the ground-ball battle, they didn’t execute their offense well and their defense wasn’t quick getting the ball out of their end.
“We beat ourselves,” coach John Murphy said. “We made mistake after mistake. We shot ourselves in the foot too many times to repeat.”
Of course, No. 1 Columbus was the biggest reason No. 3 Midwood didn’t return to Brooklyn with a ninth PSAL boys lacrosse title in a 7-5 loss on Saturday, May 22 at Aviator Sports Complex. The Sharks kept the Hornets at arm’s length in the second half after Midwood trimmed a four-goal lead to two twice.
A key moment came with 2:10 left in the game when the Hornets (10-5) were whistled for offsides. Midwood was in the midst of a potentially threatening possession when the call came.
“It totally killed us and it wasn’t offsides,” said Murphy, who added the referee never gave him an explanation for the call.
Though the Hornets left Aviator with another heartbreaking defeat in a championship game, there was plenty to build on. Sophomore Nick Dopyera had three goals after not starting at the beginning of the season.
“Nick has been a nice surprise for us the last couple games,” Murphy said.
Dopyera had a goal in the semifinals against Tottenville and a pair of scores against FDA in the quarterfinals. Not bad for someone who had to work his way into the lineup.
“It took a lot of hard work,” Dopyera said. “At the beginning of the season it was hard being on the bench watching all my friends playing.”
Juniors Blake Koch and Joseph Chazen had goals at the start of the third quarter to get the Hornets within 4-2. With players like them, Midwood’s future is very bright. The team, which has the most tradition and championships in the league, has just one senior on the roster: Joseph Lou.
“The championship has to go through us,” Murphy said. “In order to get the title, you have to beat us.”
That certainly has been the case. Midwood has been in the last two titles games and won three championships in a row before that. There is no plan for that run ending any time soon.
“We’re definitely gonna be back here next year,” Dopyera said. “The Hornets aren’t dead.”