MIDDDLETOWN — Scott Testori has been in the middle of scoring plays all season long. The sophomore led the Hand boys boys soccer team in goals this season.
So when Greyson McGeary’s corner kick flew over his head during Sunday’s second half, Lee Wilderman knew who would be there.
“I didn’t even turn around. I just said, ‘Scott,’” the senior said “I was on the front post. We practice that every single day. After four months of this, I know exactly where it is going.”
It was going straight to Testori, who headed in McGeary’s corner kick for the game’s only goal. No. 3 seed Hand made the three-peat a reality with the 1-0 win over No. 17 Maloney at Middletown High.
“It shows how much heart we have to keep this winning tradition alive,” Testori said. “Repeating is amazing. I can only imagine what it is like to three-peat.”
— Joe Morelli (@nhrJoeMorelli) November 18, 2018
Said Hand coach Greg Cumpstone: “Scott has that nose for the goal. He is good in the air and we also do a lot of different crossing and set piece drills.”
This Class L three-peat run for Hand started at Middletown High in 2016 against Barlow, then beat another South-West Conference opponent, Masuk, last season.
“Especially being a senior, being able to go out like this is fantastic,” Wildermann said. “Obviously, winning three is something many people don’t get to experience, even winning one.”
Testori has been a huge, integral part of the last two. He scored the winner in last year’s final. His goal Sunday came with just over 13 minutes left in regulation.
“We believed we were going to score,” Testori said. “We missed a few, but we kept it together and finally got that one. Greyson put a great ball in, I curled around the defender and (the ball) came right to my head and I (put) it in.”
Said Wildermann: “I turned around and it was in the back of the net. He has been in that spot most of the year. You can just feel that was going to be the one.”
Another interesting tidbit to this run by the Tigers (16-2-3): they have done it with three different head coaches: Stan Latkowski, Anthony Mancini and now, Cumpstone.
“It’s great, its wonderful,” Cumpstone said. “I love the program. I love being part of a successful team, this group of guys, it’s awesome.”
The result ended a fine run by Maloney (11-5-5) which was playing in its first state final. The Spartans won two games in penalty kicks and won them all without the benefit of a home game.
“The guys did a great job, just battled,” Maloney coach Dave Parness said. “We would tell them, ‘Keep yourself alive, give yourself opportunities at the end of the game.’ Hopefully, this changes the culture within our program where we are not just happy to get here and understand the moment, understand how big it is and how hard you have to play.”
Hand dominated play most of the game, outshooting Maloney 16-2. The Tigers finished with eight corner kicks, converting on the last one.
“They played like a team that had won it the last couple of years and you could see that,” Parness said. “I knew we had to live with the corners. We just gave one too many corners.”
HAND 1, MALONEY 0
Maloney 0 0 — 0
Hand 0 1 — 1
Goal: H: Scott Testori (Greyson McGeary), 66:00. Shots: Maloeny 2, Hand 16; Saves: M: Devin Juan 6; Clayton Knibbs 1. Records: M 11-5-5; H 16-2-3.