The Comsewogue boys’ soccer team got the ball rolling.
In League V action Friday, the Warriors invaded Rocky Point territory and blanked the Eagles, 5-0, to earn their first win of the season.
“Today was a big improvement,” Comsewogue head coach Don O’Brien said. “We’ve been struggling with some injuries and today we finally put a team on the field. They executed the offensive system of play and we created a lot of chances.”
Comsewogue sophomore forward Luis Hernandez scored first less than four minutes into the game from outside the right goal post, giving his team the early lead.
Almost 10 minutes of back-and-forth action later, Comsewogue made another good attempt, but Rocky Point junior goalkeeper Michael Antici made one of his eight saves on the day.
Despite Antici’s efforts, the Warriors found the back of the net again before the halftime break.
With 3:30 left, senior midfielder Nick Towler headed the ball off a corner kick into the right side of the goal to give his team a 2-0 advantage.
“I was going toward the goalie and just saw the ball coming and hit it in,” Towler said, laughing. “I wasn’t trying to do anything special.”
The Warriors were gunning to get another one at the start of the second half, but didn’t capitalize until senior midfielder John Koebel scored off a foul kick that had been sent into the box and rebounded off an opponent.
On the other end of the field, Warriors senior goalie Steven Towler made a couple of strong saves during the second half to preserve the shutout, but overall did not see much action.
Comsewogue senior midfielders Jake Muller and Trevor Kennedy tacked on the final two goals of the game, the latter lighting up the scoreboard when Antici tried to catch a corner kick but instead sent the ball bouncing off his hands and into the net.
The victorious Warriors were optimistic about the future, despite losing some of their top playmakers to graduation last year.
“I think we need a little more experience,” Nick Towler said. He is one of this year’s starters who was a sub last season, and he thinks he and his counterparts are “really holding the team together.”
Rocky Point head coach Joe Camarda was disappointed with his team’s effort.
“They played very flat,” he said. “It just wasn’t our game today. They didn’t really step up the way we’ve been playing, so it was one of our weaker games.”
Through the midfield and attack, Camarda said his athletes weren’t patient enough to get opportunities and finish them.
Rocky Point senior defender Jimmy Gohn agreed.
“We just had an off game,” he said. “We had some OK plays every now and again when we blasted the ball and made some connections up top, but unfortunately we didn’t get too many of those and didn’t do well clearing the ball in the back.”
But Camarda thinks his team has what it takes to be a contender in League V.
“This is, to me, one of my best teams,” he said. “Talent-wise and attitude-wise, they’ve really come together. I think we’re going to have a good season and surprise a lot of people, but if we play like today, I don’t think we will.”
O’Brien said that after a performance like the Warriors had, he’s looking forward to seeing what the rest of the season holds for his squad.
“The game plan was executed to perfection — we just have to keep building and get better,” he said. “I knew it was going to take some time for them to work together offensively to create chances, and that’s exactly what they did today. They’re getting better every game, just like we thought.”