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Sayville wins Class A boys soccer crown

Boys Varsity - 2007 Season
Posted Monday, November 12, 2007 by Webmaster _

Sayville wins Class A boys soccer crown



November 12, 2007

It was difficult to distinguish between players on the Sayville boys soccer team. Since the playoffs began, the entire team dyed its hair blond.

But it was very easy to tell who was taking control of the game midway through the second half. Will Slevin acted as if he just drank gallons of Red Bull and was going through the Great Neck North defense in a different gear.

All of a sudden, Slevin elevated his game and in a span of less than two minutes, he had the tying assist and the winning goal for Sayville in a 3-2 win over Great Neck North Sunday in the Long Island Class A championship at Hofstra.

Sayville (18-0-1), which will play in the states for the first time, will meet Byram Hills (Section I) at 9 a.m. Saturday at the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Oneonta in a state semifinal.

"He took it upon himself," Sayville senior Andrew Wissing said.

Sayville coach Val Winter moved Slevin to striker midway through the second half with the team trailing 2-1.

"They did a good job shadowing him all game," Winter said. "I wanted to free him up."

First, Slevin broke past a defender and crossed it to Chris Hendrickson, who was in front of the net alone and scored to tie the game at 2 with 16:05 left.

"The second goal gave me some inspiration," Slevin said. "That was incredible. That uplifted us."

It took just 1:57 for Slevin to strike again. He dribbled past a defender and blasted a shot from 15 yards to the left corner of the net to give Sayville a 3-2 lead.

"He moves without the ball very well," Great Neck North coach Eamonn Flood said. "He was in the right position at the right time."

Great Neck North (16-2) took a 1-0 lead with 24:15 left in the first half when Ben Mueller scored. Evan Martel converted a corner kick from Wissing with 33 seconds left in the first half to tie the score at 1 for Sayville.

Sayville goalkeeper Chris Kucera kept the score that way with a diving save with 22:41 left in the game.

"I barely got my fingers on it," Kucera said. "It hit the tips of my fingers, hit the post and bounced out."

Tal Zivan scored off a pass from Michael Ferreira with 21:58 left to put Great Neck North ahead 2-1.

The Sayville players decided to dye their hair blond because the team in 2001 did it, too. Sayville lost on penalty kicks to Wheatley in the L.I. championship game that year.

This was the third consecutive season Sayville was the top seed in Suffolk Class A, but this was the first time since 2001 that the Golden Flashes won a county championship. Sayville failed to get past the semifinals the last two seasons and once it beat Comsewogue in the semifinals this time around, Wissing said it helped the team relax.

"That was the biggest win," Wissing said. "People have been saying we choked the past few years and we finally got it done."

Sayville 12- 3

Great Neck North 11- 2

Goals - S: Martel, Hendrickson, Slevin; GNN: Mueller, Zivan. Saves - S: Kucera 6; GNN: Grinbaum 8.

Copyright 2007, Newsday Inc.


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