WESTFIELD – The Westfield Vocational-Technical High School boys’ soccer team has racked up a long list of accolades for the 2014 season.
A Tri-County League championship. An unbeaten regular season. And now, Voc-Tech is just one away from repeating as the state small vocational schools boys’ soccer champion.
On Thursday, the top-seeded Tigers (17-0-1) handed Smith Voke a 2-0 loss to cement the Whip City soccer team’s place in the title game.
Westfield Voc-Tech advances to play McCann Tech in the state small vocational schools’ championship Friday at Bullens Field at 3 p.m.
“We are keeping undefeated a note as our motivation to keep going,” said Voc-Tech’s Tyler Hall. “Every day is a new day. You never know what team is going to show up against us.”
Alex Makarchuk put Voc-Tech out front from the outset, scoring in the ninth minute when a shot in tight from Makarchuk deflected off a Smith player into the back of the net.
With 14:18 remaining in the first half, Dominic Rosario blasted a direct kick from about 18 yards away that just cleared the crossbar for a 2-0 lead.
Voc-Tech protected its lead in the second half, and preserved a shutout. The Tigers withstood a late push from Smith, which put pressure on the backfield.
“It’s all about surviving and advancing,” Westfield Voc-Tech coach Kyle Dulude said, “so a win is a win. Smith Voke came out and played us hard.”
It was a clean sweep for Voc-Tech, who defeated Smith 3-0 twice during the regular season.
Still, Dulude said there is much room for improvement.
“We have to come ready to play a little bit better tomorrow,” the Tigers coach explained. “(Our players) need to keep their focus on getting rested and resetting our state of mind … There is no reason to hold back. We have to come with our ‘A’ game.”