Sam Weiss' key saves help put Long Beach in 'B' semifinals
It didn't matter that the shots often were fired from so close that Long Beach goalie Sam Weiss could notice the seam lines of the Lynbrook attackmen's jerseys; the ball rarely got into the net.
With Long Beach up by two goals, Weiss recorded four consecutive saves on shots from point-blank range during a three-minute stretch in the third quarter.
"It comes down to seeing the ball, and when they're in close like that, you just want to read the guy's body and know what he's going to do," Weiss said.
Lynbrook's offense, led by senior midfielder Matthew Murphy, who had two goals and one assist, altered many Long Beach passes in transition and the Owls used their physicality on defense to force an unusually high number of turnovers.
Marines coach James Kaspar called the win "ugly," yet it enables Long Beach to face defending state champion Garden City in a Class B semifinal at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday at Hofstra.
"I don't know what's up with these guys sometimes," Kaspar said. "We're up, we're down. We weren't clicking on all cylinders today."
Lynbrook's defense kept Long Beach's top scorer J.T. Forkin relatively in check -- he averages 41/2 goals a game -- by shifting from a zone in the first quarter to a man-on-man the rest of the game. Forkin had a goal and an assist in the first quarter, which prompted the change.
"They had a pretty good system, they kept me locked," said Forkin, who still managed to have a game-high three goals.
The score was tied at 3 at halftime, but Lynbrook failed to capitalize on many opportunities, including a man-up advantage for a good portion of the second half.
And Weiss was a major reason why.
"He leads that defense," said Forkin, who put the game out of reach with two goals in the fourth. "He's not a kid who says much, but when he talks, everyone listens to him. In the big games, he's come up big. He's won games for us. We made major mistakes on defense and Weiss was there for us."
He saved them.