After starting the season 0-3 in conference play, Roslyn entered yesterday's game against second-place Wantagh just hoping for a tie.
But the Bulldogs showed that they can compete with the top teams in the conference, earning a hard-fought 2-1 victory on the road, their second in the conference.
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"We started the season 0-3, and only the top four teams in the conference make the playoffs," Roslyn coach Juan Mejia said. "This win gives us new life."
Roslyn (4-3-1, 2-3-1) got key goals from Brian Cardoza and Brandon Friedman. Cardoza scored with 9:31 left in the first half when Kyle Gaylan found him at the top of the box for a shot that went past the goalie into the bottom right of the net.
"That goal gave us a big confidence boost to push ourselves," Cardoza said. "Instead of looking for the tie we started looking for the win."
Wantagh (6-2-1, 3-2-1) came out in the second half with more aggression, but Roslyn's defense, led by Alex Goodman and Seth Bolnick, did a good job stifling any breakaway attempts.
Friedman's goal came with 10:58 left in the game when Alex Goodman found him on a throw-in. Friedman played the ball off his chest and buried the shot past the goalie.
"We needed another goal to get the pressure off of us," Friedman said. "After that we were able to ease back and focus on defense."
The Warriors continued to fight to the end and gained more possessions in the final three minutes. Chris Taibi scored on a penalty with 53 seconds left. Wantagh tried to get another shot, but time ran out.
Mejia said he is hoping this win ignites his young team and helps them believe they can beat anyone.
"Now we know there are no excuses," Mejia said. "Now they know they can compete with the top teams. We're looking to get into the playoffs and make some noise."
His players seem to already have gotten the message.
"More than anything this win gives us confidence that we can beat anyone in the conference," Friedman said. "It was our best game yet, if we can play like this every game we should have no problems the rest of the season."