There hasn't been much for Hunter Iacovetti and his Amityville teammates to get excited about the last few seasons. The senior hasn't even come close to reaching the playoffs in his three years on the team
A moment like Monday's is something Iacovetti wasn't sure he would experience. Sophomore Mauricio Rivas scored on a penalty kick with 21:59 left in the first half to give host Amityville a 1-0 win over defending Suffolk Class A champion East Hampton in Suffolk League VI boys soccer.
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"I don't think anyone saw this coming," Iacovetti said. "We just beat a great team."
Amityville (5-1-1, 4-0-1) is coming off a three-win season and was picked to finish next to last in the league. The Warriors haven't made the playoffs since 1986, according to coach John Cardone. With one game before they hit the halfway point of the league schedule, the Warriors are on pace for a playoff berth.
"This win is unbelievable," Cardone said. "People are finally starting to realize we can play soccer. My coaching staff and 12 seniors are a key part of this. It has been a long wait for this. We're excited."
The Amityville coaches didn't pick anyone for the penalty kick. They wanted to see who would step up and ask to take the kick and it was Rivas, a first-year varsity player.
"I was just trying to keep myself calm and not miss," Rivas said. "I wasn't nervous. I have been practicing them."
Amityville goalkeeper Ronald Herrera made five saves before leaving with a leg contusion with 33:24 left in the game. Eric Rodriguez replaced him and made one save.
Amityville had several chances to extend the lead midway through the second half but Nick Tulp (six saves) kept East Hampton within one. East Hampton (6-2-1, 4-1) made a furious charge in the final 10 minutes and Amityville held on to move into first place.
"It's amazing," Rivas said. "There are no words to explain it. I just hope we get more wins. There are a lot of seniors on this team and they want to get to the playoffs for once."
Said Cardone: "Five years of hard work is starting to pay off. We knew how good we were. It's going to be a special year for these guys."