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Carey punches playoff ticket

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A year after scuffling to a 1-8-1 conference record, Carey has qualified for the Nassau boys’ soccer playoffs with two games to spare.

The Seahawks punched their ticket to the Class A tournament with a 3-0 home victory over Division on Oct. 10. Senior Nick Rescigno netted all three goals, including the eventual winner just 15 seconds into the second half, and senior goalkeeper Blake Bonfiglio posted his second shutout of 2019.

“Coming off last year, it’s nice to know we’re in the playoffs and we’re not going to take our foot off the gas,” coach Matt Princi said after Carey improved to 5-2-1 against Conference A2 rivals. “If we can win our last two, we’ll finish in second place,” he added. “We want to get the highest seed possible and avoid that play-in game scenario.”

The top four Class A schools in each of four conferences automatically qualifies for the playoffs, plus any others with at least a .500 conference mark. If the playoffs started last Friday, three extra teams from A2 alone would be in. “We’re still a young team and I think we have the ability to make some noise,” Princi said.

Rescigno, who entered the Division game with three goals on the year, doubled his output in a matter of 17 minutes. His second and third goals of the game came 78 seconds apart in the 23rd and 24th minutes. The latter was assisted by senior fullback Konstantino Andrikopoulos. “Nick came up to varsity for the playoffs as a freshman and has started the past three years,” Princi said of Rescigno, a co-captain who also netted the only goal in Carey’s win over Kennedy on Oct. 3. “He suffered a bad hamstring injury over the summer and I brought him along slowly,” he added. “He was a little hesitant early in the season, but now I can see he’s 100 percent.”

Rescigno is one of four Seahawks with at least four goals. Sophomore Patrick Reddy, who was elevated to forward a few weeks ago, has four goals and two assists. “His natural position is in the back, but we’ve been a stronger offensive team since we moved him up,” Princi said of Reddy. “He’s fast and strong. Defenses have to pay attention to him and it opens things up for the guys behind him.”

Junior Anthony Mangiaracina has five goals, while sophomore James Stavropoulos has four. Andrikopoulos and senior co-captain Connor Gervasi, the anchor of the defense that also includes his younger brother, sophomore Colin, and junior Joseph Marotta, are tied for the team lead in assists with three.

In goal, Princi said he has two outstanding options in Bonfiglio and sophomore Gino Cervoni. Both have been nicked up. Bonfiglio is dealing with a back issue; Cervoni, who also has a pair of shutouts, is sidelined with a hand injury. “They’ve both been very good when healthy,” Princi said.

Carey closes the regular season this week with trips to South Side and Hewlett.