Dadiego backstops Baldwin to victory
At 5-8, Baldwin goalie Brett Dadiego doesn't fill up the cage like some of his peers who are taller and broader. But he presents a moving target to shooters. "I'm aggressive. I explode to the ball and try to cut down angles," the Air Force-bound goalie said.
Dadiego played the angles well Tuesday night, making nine saves, one that was especially critical, as No. 3 Baldwin beat No. 6 East Meadow, 9-4, in a Nassau Class A quarterfinal at Hofstra's Shuart Stadium. Baldwin faces No. 2 Syosset in the semifinals next Wednesday.
The Bruins (11-5) needed a little extra from their goalie late in the third quarter. They held a 7-4 lead, but the Jets (8-8) were threatening. During a lengthy possession, Chris Buschi streaked untouched down the right side, but Dadiego made the save. "I held the pipe and it hit me in the leg," he said.
Moments later, he made another save and decided enough was enough. "At that point, it seemed like we were on defense the whole quarter," Dadiego said. "My defense was tired. I was tired. I needed to get the ball out of there."
Dadiego, who scored a goal earlier in the season against Kellenberg, cleared it himself and drew a one-minute slashing penalty. Mike Ainbinder made it 8-4 with a man-up missile and the Bruins were back in control.
"The bigger the stakes, the better Brett plays," said Austin Valenti, who lent offensive support with a goal and three pinpoint assists in the first half as Baldwin built a 7-3 lead. "I'm the feeding type. I give it to others and let them do what they want."
Dadiego prevents opponents from taking such liberties.