South Side over .500 in conference play


South Side has its first conference winning streak of the boys’ soccer season and should be getting healthy just in time for the stretch run.

Junior Chuck Leone and senior Kyle Morrissey notched goals at Westbury last Friday, and senior goalkeeper Thomas Germano turned aside all four shots he faced as the Cyclones moved over the .500 mark (3-2-2) in Conference A-IV with a 2-0 victory. Junior Jacob Adler and Dane Flaherty picked up assists in a game dominated by the visitors, who peppered Westbury’s goalie tandem of Leonzo Castro-Padilla (19 saves) and Jovany Cerna with a total of 26 shots.

“The pressure we were applying didn’t register with me until we put the ball in the back of the net,” South Side coach Fred Paul said. “I like that we created so many chances, but we squandered too many chances for my liking. We’re doing some good things but remain a work in progress.”

The first goal, which came in the opening half, Paul said, was the product of a play the team practices daily. Adler started it with a throw-in, and after quickly getting the ball back he sent a crossing pass to Leone, who scored on a header for the second time in three games to make it 1-0.

Flaherty was the orchestrator of the insurance goal, which came early in the second half. He pushed the ball upfield, beat two defenders along the sideline, then crossed it to Morrissey who redirected it with his head.

“We’re scoring a bunch of goals on headers,” Paul said. 

Two days earlier, the Cyclones (6-2-1 overall) got a strong defensive effort, seven saves from Germano, and a goal with 13 minutes left to knock off visiting Garden City, 1-0. Junior Lucas Derkatch converted a pass from freshman Matthew DiLuccio to win it. “It was a 50-50 game,” Paul said. “Thomas gave us another strong game in goal, and I feel he’s the best keeper in the conference. We got a nice effort goal for the win.”

The team started October with what Paul described as a disappointing 1-1 draw with Roslyn. Leone scored off a header, but Paul was hoping for three points in the standings after the way South Side held its own in its previous game against first-place Jericho. “We had a seven-point week, which is good, but it could’ve been nine points,” said Paul, referring to the two wins and tie. “I thought Jericho was our best game. We had five great chances and didn’t force their keeper to make a save. Until we convert more opportunities, every game is going to be a struggle.”

Leone, Morrissey, Derkatch, senior John Murphy and junior Jack McKenna are all tied for the team lead in goals with two. The lineup could get quite as boost as early as this week with the expected return of senior All-County standout Mark Romanowski, who could play anywhere on the field.