Aguilera nets OT winner for Lehman in 'B' final
Jovan Rivera knew the PSAL Class B boys lacrosse final would be decided in the second overtime.
The junior midfielder called it a gut feeling.
“To be honest I felt it was going to happen in the second overtime,” Rivera said. “In the first overtime, it got pretty close. But I felt it was going to happen, either them or us and it happened to be us.”
It happened to be Michael Aguilera who bounced the winner in with 2:09 left in the second overtime to lift Lehman to a 3-2 win over Madison Sunday afternoon at Aviator Sports Complex.
“I was amazed,” Rivera said. “I was like, ‘Did that just happen? We won the championship.’”
Lehman (10-6) entered the postseason as the No. 3 seed, but upset top-seeded Frederick Douglass, 7-6, in the semifinals before knocking off No. 2 Madison in the title game Sunday.
A year ago, the Lions lost in the final to Hunter College HS. In 2010, the Lions fell to Long Island City in the semifinals.
“This is amazing,” Rivera said. “I’ve been working at this for two years, since freshman year and we finally got it.”
Aguilera made sure of it, picking up a groundball at the midfield stripe and charging toward goal. He bounced the ball into the net for his second goal of the game, 33rd of the year and ninth against Madison this year.
“I’m supposed to get every groundball at the midfield line and I did,” Aguilera said. “I saw that wide-open spot and I said I just have to take it. It’s amazing. It’s the best feeling ever.”
Kyle Marino gave Madison (14-2) a 1-0 lead with 5:09 left in the first quarter, but Aguilera equalized with his first of the game, on an assist from Rivera with 8:34 left in the second quarter.
Rivera put Lehman in front 16 seconds later with his team-leading 36th goal of the year, but Sam Levin tied the game for Madison with 8:03 left in the second quarter.
And that’s the way the game would remain through a scoreless second half and the first four-minute overtime.
Aguilera had one of the best scoring chances of the second half with 3:34 left in the fourth when he knifed through the defense, but his shot was wide of the net. Eric Tola had another opportunity on the same possession, but his attempt was saved.
“We came out really strong, but they showed their best,” Rivera said. “It was a well-played game.”
Aguilera wouldn’t miss in the second overtime, capping a huge sophomore year. Rivera said Aguilera made a marked improvement from his freshman year and credits the Trilogy Lacrosse Camp in Millbrook, N.Y. over the summer as a big reason.
“We just worked together all offseason,” Rivera said. “As a freshman he was pretty good, but this year he stepped it up, he was named captain. We played with guys who have been playing their whole lives. It gave us a challenge.”
And Aguilera gave Lehman a championship.
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