Scheck Hillel’s boys’ soccer team enjoyed every moment of a historic first-ever run to the state championship match last season.
The Hurricanes have now learned how to handle the pressure of being one of the favorites.
Led by two goals from sophomore Netanel Silberman and a poised defensive effort from sophomore goalkeeper Alan Landau, Scheck Hillel held off Weston Sagemont 3-1 in the Region 4-1A final to clinch a second consecutive trip to the state semifinals.
The Hurricanes (18-2) had never advanced to the state final four in any sport before last season.
On Wednesday, Hillel will play either St. Augustine St. Joseph or Orlando First Academy Wednesday in a Class 1A state semifinal at either 10 a.m. or 12:30 p.m. at Eastern Florida State College in Melbourne.
“This is phenomenal for this school to go to state again,” Hillel coach Ben Magidson said. “This was a tough environment [Thursday] with the opposing team’s crowd supporting them in this afternoon game, but our boys rose to the occasion again.”
Silberman, who missed the end of last season’s state runner-up finish with an injury, struck in the 13th minute, booting the ball past the goal line off a cross.
Silberman later assisted on the second goal in the 30th minute, feeding junior Julian Ribak to give Hillel a 2-0 edge.
Landau made three key stops in the early minutes of the second half to preserve the lead.
But a foul in the box granted Sagemont its lone goal on a penalty kick by senior Bruno Paes-Leme with 15 minutes left in the match.
Hillel’s defense held off any further threats, however, and Silberman sealed the match with a long-distance shot that found the mark with two minutes remaining.