Lakeland wins home playoff game vs Pelham
SHRUB OAK – The exasperation was real.
Lakeland was in position to win a league title in the final week of the season, but suffered a pair of crushing losses to Peekskill and Lourdes before closing out the regular season with a maddening draw against Panas.
The Hornets were in no mood to be messed with Wednesday.
Some of the swagger returned late in the first half, propelling Lakeland to a 3-0 win over Pelham in a Section 1 Class A outbracket contest.
The season isn’t over yet.
“Last week left us a little broken,” Hornets winger Bryan Jaramillo said. “It also motivated us to keep pushing to just try harder and push forward.”
Lakeland forward Bryan Jaramillo got a step on the Pelham defense in the second half and provided an insurance goal for the Hornets with six minutes to play in a 3-0 victory in a Section 1 Class A out-bracket game on Oct. 20, 2021.
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Kenny Nichols held the back line together when Pelicans began to apply pressure in the early going and Derek Jaramillo came off the bench and immediately changed the momentum, setting up a Connor Daly goal with 12 minutes to play in the half.
The Hornets leveled up once they had confidence and cushion.
“We had a captain who got a red card in our last game so that was motivating, too,” the Lakeland midfielder said. “I wanted him to be able to play tomorrow. And it was the last home game for our seniors and we all wanted to show out for them.”
Pelham defender Charlie Gutch (13) won the race to a through ball and sent it sailing out of bounds as Lakeland forward David Pinkowsky applies pressure. The Hornets won 3-0 on Oct. 20, 2021 and moved into the first round of the Class A tournament.
The Pelicans have dealt with adversity, too, but were in control for the first 20 minutes. A number of set plays were undone by pushing fouls in the box and before long, the Hornets were better organized and counter attacking.
“I’m going to give the credit to my cousin, Derek, because we were lacking in the middle until he came in,” Byran Jaramillo said. “We started to play through the wings, broke through their defense and got a few chances.”
Derek Jaramillo got banged up in practice 24 hours earlier so he wasn’t in the starting lineup.
It was a 2-0 game less than a minute after the intermission when Michael Rodriguez scored in transition.
“We didn’t have a lot of energy the whole game,” Pelham center back Charlie Gutch said. “We struggled winning balls in the air and 50-50 balls most of the game. Once we fell behind we kind of put our heads down for a minute. We started to fight in the second half, but it wasn’t enough. Our spirits dropped when they scored after halftime, but I thought we played better in the second half.”
Lakeland defender Spencer Maja (17) redirects a ball upfield during a 3-0 win over Pelham on Oct. 20, 2021.
Players of the game
The Hornets managed only two shutouts this season, which made the clean sheet kind of a big deal. Nichols covered extra ground on the back line and keeper Chris Ciraco finished with seven saves and one assist.
By the numbers
No. 20 Pelham (5-9-2): Nolan Profitt made two saves and Jake Fellner made one save.
No. 13 Lakeland (9-7-1): Arjun Parambath set up the Rodriguez goal immediately after halftime. … Ciraco punted the ball deep to Bryan Jaramillo, who made a move and scored with six minutes remaining.