Shoreham-Wading River coach Tom Rotanz could sense something amiss with his team at halftime.
The swagger, confidence that came from three blowout wins in the playoffs was fading to a sense of doubt.
“I hadn’t seen that,” Rotanz said. “They were almost like understanding that this could happen. And that’s not a good thing to be thinking about.”
The top-ranked Class C team in the state, the Wildcats traveled to Marist College Wednesday afternoon ready to punch their ticket to Rochester and the state finals to defend their championship.
Instead, on the wings of an overtime goal from Brewster Warble, the Bronxville Broncos pulled off the upset to win 14-13 and advance to the Class C championship game.
In a tense, back-and-forth game, the Wildcats had their chance to win it at the end of regulation, but couldn’t get off a quality shot.
Shoreham senior Tim Rotanz, the Wildcats’ All-American leader, struggled with possible dehydration during the game and had to come out at one point. He was limited in the midfield and still finished with 4 assists. He was held without a goal.
Coach Rotanz said his son threw up on the sideline in the second half.
Tim Rotanz still delivered a huge assist to help the Wildcats tie the game with 2:01 left. He fed a pass out of a double team to Dan Malave, who fired a strong shot past Eric Pass to tie the game at 13.
The Wildcats had one chance in overtime and couldn’t convert. As the Broncos attempted to clear, Shoreham’s Anthony Visintin got whistled for a push, putting the Broncos on a 30-second man advantage.
They didn’t take long to convert.
Nineteen seconds later Warble dumped a shot past Shoreham goalkeeper Christian Palazotto, sparking a wild celebration for the Bronxville players. The assist went to Reilly Walsh.
The Wildcats led by as many three. The Broncos never led by more than a goal.
Each time Shoreham regained the lead and appeared ready to pull away, the Broncos answered.
A Dan Hughes goal gave Shoreham an 11-9 lead early in the fourth quarter. Bronxville answered with a pair of goals before Ryan Bray scored his third goal to give the Wildcats the lead back at 12-11. But again the Broncos came back with two goals to regain the lead.
Henry Grass led Bronxville with 5 goals. Jack Grass had 5 assists and 1 goal. Reilly Walsh had 3 goals and 2 assists.
The Wildcats were whistled for three penalties in the fourth quarter and the Broncos converted all three to goals.
Shoreham won 16 of 30 faceoffs behind Jake Kavanagh.
Pass made 13 saves in goal for Bronxville.
Shoreham finishes the season with two losses and both were in overtime.
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