Lawrence cruised into the Nassau Class A boys soccer playoffs in 2012 as the top seed with a 13-0-1 record. But any thought of an undefeated season was quickly shattered by a 1-0 loss to Roslyn in the opening round.
The 2013 version of the Golden Tornadoes has taken a different route. Conference realignment left Lawrence (5-1-2) with a more difficult regular-season schedule.
Lawrence faced a stiff test on Wednesday, coming from behind to defeat Bethpage, 2-1, at home.
"This year's been a little different and it's nice to face a little adversity to see how the kids respond," coach Patrick Leary said. "So far, so good, really."
Francisco Quintanilla scored the game winner on an assist from Wisdom Ezihie with 19:10 remaining. That goal came just 2:25 after Sonu Dhasmana tied the score on an assist from Chris Monzon.
"In games like this you have to stay on your toes because one goal can be the match," Leary said. "They scored early and we had to battle back and see how we responded. There was a period of time where they had an opportunity to put us away after the first goal and we got lucky they didn't finish."
Bethpage went up 1-0 early in the second half on a goal by Steve Nani.
Leary described his team as one that is adept at counterattacking. After staving off Bethpage's assault on the goal his team was able to take the ball the other way and Dhasmana finished from 18 yards out. Quintanilla added the go-ahead goal and then Lawrence "hung on for dear life," Leary said.
"We knew it would be an 80-minute battle," Leary said. "We've had a lot of these games that test us and we went down and kept plugging away and it showed a lot of character on our part."