With only one goal in its previous three Conference A-I games and minus one of its key offensive contributors, Carey didn’t figure to break out against stingy Hewlett when the two teams met on the boys’ soccer pitch Oct. 2.
The visiting Bulldogs came into the contest with only two goals allowed in five games, yet the Seahawks found a way to put the ball in the net — not once but twice. Senior Eric Zacharias scored off a header in the 30th minute and assisted on senior Gino Scardino’s goal three minutes later, sparking Carey to a much-needed 2-1 victory.
“Sitting in ninth place after five games, we played with a sense of urgency,” coach Matt Princi said after the Seahawks evened their conference record at 2-2-2 while improving to 5-2-2 overall. “We have to finish no worse than sixth to make the playoffs, so we don’t have much room for error,” he added. “Hewlett’s been playing well. These three points are big.”
Senior defender Jimmy Anderson scored with three minutes remaining for the Bulldogs, who share the same A-I mark as Carey and stand at 3-2-2 overall. “It clearly wasn’t one of our better games,” coach Nick Lacetera said. “Our defense has been great all year, led by our seniors, but Carey was more fired up than we were today. For whatever reason we came out flat.”
Senior goalkeeper Zachary Metz, who made eight saves and boomed punts into Carey’s zone throughout the day, kept Hewlett close with some point-blank stops early in the first half. He denied a drive off the foot of Jeff Castaneda, turned aside a header by Leonardo Landeta, and saw Scardino’s direct kick from 15 yards sail just over the crossbar.
“Zach did everything he could to keep us in it,” Lacetera said of Metz, who has four shutouts. “It’s his first year starting and he’s doing a nice job.”
The Seahawks’ relentless pressure paid off with a corner kick, and they cashed in when Castaneda’s perfectly placed drive was headed past Metz by a leaping Zacharias to make it 1-0 with 10 minutes remaining in the half.
“A beautiful goal,” Princi said. “We haven’t had much luck scoring, but we were knocking on the door and that first goal gave us some confidence.”
Metz robbed Scardino less than 30 seconds after play resumed, but the high-scoring forward made good on his next opportunity when he broke past a defender and slid a shot to the keeper’s far side to make it 2-0. It was Scardino’s ninth goal of the season, ranking him tied for third in Nassau County.
Carey’s defense, led by seniors David Filipe and Marvin Rodriguez, sophomore Nick Sivilli and freshman Carlos Llamosa, was solid in front of sophomore goalkeeper Dom Brusca (five saves) who’s best stop came late in the first half off Hewlett’s Kelvin Larios.
Two days later, the Bulldogs bounced back with a win over Westbury while the Seahawks beat New Hyde Park.