The Carey boys’ soccer team is off to another great start thanks to the same old formula of a stifling defense and contributions from everyone on the roster.
The Seahawks improved to 3-0 and exacted a measure of revenge by outlasting Glen Cove, 2-1, last Friday thanks to Nick Zarra’s second goal of the contest with just under two minutes left. The junior opening the scoring in the 13th minute and, on the winning goal, blasted a shot from well outside the box that found the lower part of a net past the screened goalkeeper.
The Big Red ended Carey’s hopes for a county title with a 4-3 overtime victory in the third round of the Nassau A tournament last spring.
“It was a huge win for us,” coach Matt Princi said later that night. “Both of us had mostly the same team back from last year and everybody remembered. We watched the video of that again on Thursday to remind them of what that was like. It was a great game.”
Junior goalkeeper Gino Cervoni was the other hero after deflecting a long throw-in out of harm’s way as time expired. The play was eerily reminiscent of last year’s playoff game, when the Big Red scored with less than a second left in overtime to advance.
“They had a throw-in in the end with three seconds left, and you could just hear everybody freeze with the ball up in the air and it went right into the six [yard line] and he came out and punched it towards the sideline,” Princi recalled. “I’m exhausted right now.”
The 6-foot-5 Cervoni had 10 saves to push his season total to 18 and has allowed just two goals this season. The Seahawks overall have not yielded three or more goals in a regular-season contest since Sept. 24, 2019.
“When you’ve got a guy like Geno in net for the past three years, that definitely helps,” Princi said. “He’s just a monster back there. He commands respect when he comes off his line [and] he’s very intimidating to try to take a shot placement around him because his arms and wingspan are so long. It’s nice knowing he’s back there.”
It also helps to have a stingy defensive corps of Colin Gervasi, Nick Savos, Nick Balsamo and Jason Malovich. Gervasi, a four-year starter, even pitched in offensively with a pair of goals in Carey’s 4-0 season-opening victory over Calhoun.
“He’s the anchor of everything back there,” Princi said. “He’s a true definition of what a captain should be, a leader on and off the field. He’s highly intelligent and his soccer IQ is very good.”
Offensively, the Seahawks have gotten goals from four other players. Juniors Gianluca Intranuovo and Alessandro Perna also scored against Calhoun, while JV callups Alejandro Aviles and Christian Russo helped Carey edge Sewanhaka 2-1 on Sept. 13. The offense could be even more dangerous when All-County honorable mention Tyler Balsamo and sophomore Dante Valverde start potting goals after combining for 15 last spring.