A little wind and rain wasn’t enough to stop Rocky Point’s boys’ soccer team.
As the remnants of Tropical Storm Hermine pounded Long Island, the Eagles tore up the field, scoring two slippery goals in a 2-0 shutout victory over visiting Comsewogue.
“They did well considering the weather,” Rocky Point head coach Joe Camarda said. “It was a back and forth game and we were fortunate enough to put the ball in the net.”
Despite Comsewogue setting the pace and controlling the time of possession in the first 40 minutes, Rocky Point junior forward Xavier Guey-Mock scored off a breakaway with 7:32 left in the half to give the Eagles the lead. A Warrior opponent dove to stop him from gaining possession at the 40-yard line, though the slide just missed, and Guey-Mock was able to easily dart to the net. As Comsewogue senior goalkeeper Harrison Granger slid to his right, Guey-Mock knocked it into the empty far left corner for the 1-0 advantage.
“I started running down and saw the goalie come out, so I tried to chip it in and it worked,” the goal-scorer said. “I play in this weather a lot though, so it wasn’t that bad.”
At the 37:56 mark of the second half, junior center midfielder Jack Costa gave his team a 2-0 advantage. After receiving a pass at the 20-yard line, he sent the ball toward the box, and it ended up floating into the left corner, past the diving keeper.
“It was a little too far away from me, so I toe poked at it and hit it right,” he said. “It just happened to go in as I slipped on the ground.”
While Costa thought his Eagles looked sloppy in the first half, he said the team’s chemistry is what helped them pull through.
“We worked hard and put in the effort to get the result,” he said. “It’s a lot of fun, a lot of hard work, but good practices make good games.”
Twelve returning seniors have been a major help in carrying over team chemistry from the 2015 team. Camarda said he believes this is one of his best teams he’s had in the 10 years he’s been coaching at Rocky Point.
“It’s a big senior group, but we have 22 on the roster and everyone has a great attitude; they’re putting in what I ask them to put in and I can’t ask for more,” he said.
The head coach said he has a strong returner in defensive back Dylan Trude and added that senior goalkeeper Michael Antici has improved immensely during the offseason. Camarda said the Eagles have a strong midfield, but there isn’t a standout player on the team. Instead, they’ll rely on strength in numbers.
“We don’t have an outstanding player, so we’re all working together as a unit,” he said.
He’s also proud of how his Eagles managed to keep their composure.
“Under these conditions and with this weather, that’s all you can ask, is for them to stay composed, stay focused,” he said. “I asked us to defend as a unit and finish the opportunities we had, and they did that, so I’m proud of them.”
To maintain their competitive edge, Guey-Mock said the Eagles will have a few things to improve upon.
“We need to work on talking a little more,” he said. “Even though the ball skips on the turf, we also need to work on our passing.”
Camarda said he hopes his team can continue to rise to the occasion when Rocky Point travels to Sayville Sept. 9 for a 4:30 p.m. matchup at Depot Street Field.
“They have determination, setting their goals and trying to reach them,” Camarda said. “We’re just taking it one game at a time and we hope we continue to perform like we did today.”