BROOKVILLE, N.Y. - Senior Danilo Hernandez (Mineola, N.Y.) scored the game-winning goal to hand NYIT men's soccer the 2011 East Coast Conference Tournament Championship Friday afternoon at C.W. Post. The Bears defeated the No. 6 Pioneers 1-0 to win their first ECC title and fourth overall conference championship.
"This is unreal," said sophomore captain Vinny Caccavale (West Islip, N.Y.). "This is something NYIT has not been able to do since 2004. Our seniors, Pierre [Sy] and Danilo [Hernandez] really stepped up in both tournament games. Now it's time to take care of our bodies and have a good week of practice to prepare for the NCAA tournament."
With the win, NYIT improved to 14-3-2 on the season while C.W. Post falls to 16-2-1. Junior keeper Joe Caccavale (West Islip, N.Y.) earned the win in goal with two saves. He is now 5-0-0 on the season. The loss went to ECC Goalkeeper of the Year Marco Jorgensen (16-2-1)., who made one save.
"Danilo's goal was key. It set the momentum for the game," said head coach Carlos DelCid. "The wind played a huge factor for us even though we didn't play well in the second half. But our defense did a great job keeping C.W. Post at bay."
The Bears scored early in the first half. At 12:45, sophomore Javier Gallardo (Sevilla, Spain) crossed the ball from the right side to Hernandez, who headed the ball low into the left corner. It was his second career goal and second of the season.
For the next 77 minutes, NYIT played solid defense to hold for its 11th shutout of the season. Anchored by All-ECC selections Pierre Sy (Lindenhurst, N.Y.) and Gallardo, along with rookie John Sabol (Valley Stream, N.Y.), the Bears were able to fend out four Pioneers shots and seven C.W. Post corner kicks.
For his efforts, Gallardo was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.
The Bears now wait to find out their postseason fate as the 2011 NCAA Division II Tournament bracket will be announced on Monday, Nov. 7.
Provided by the NYIT Sports Information Department.