Hicksville coach Scott Starkey joked before Tuesday's game that his roster is dotted with so many talented center midfielders that he doesn't always know whom to play.
Watching his players as they warmed up on their home field, Starkey listed brothers Daniel Sloan and Matthew Sloan, and Branden Mueza and TJ Kilmetis, all center midfielders, as players who have potential to make an impact.
Yet it was junior center midfielder Michael Osmundsen who emerged from the accomplished group with two goals in the first half to lead Hicksville over East Meadow, 2-1, in Nassau AA-2.
"With our team, it makes it easier for me to score because of how many guys we have who you have to watch out for," Osmundsen said.
After the game, Starkey said he would be sure never to omit Osmundsen again: "I'll be mentioning him from now on."
Osmundsen first scored off an assist from Daniel Sloan halfway through the first. About 10 minutes later, he connected from about 15 yards away after securing a pass from Victor Moreno.
East Meadow coach Bob Elder feared Hicksville (1-1-0) would dominate the battle of securing balls in the air. Hicksville did, mostly because of freshman Matthew Sloan, who started every game last season as an eighth-grader. "He's about six foot and 190 pounds," Starkey said. "He has the body of a senior."
Yet East Meadow (1-1-1) persevered in the second half and stepped up defensively, with goalkeeper Rui Cuhna making seven saves. Michael Warren scored for East Meadow with about 16 minutes left. The Jets failed to tie the score, however, mostly because of the play of Hicksville's Mueza, a junior, who transferred from Dickinson High School in New Jersey.
Mueza jelled with teammates instantly on offense, making flashy passes, and in the second half started creating turnovers on defense.
"The thing is," Starkey said, "is that I've had a lot of flamboyant offensive players, but he's one who can also defend."
Osmundsen said he was restless to help get the team's first win and believes a county championship is a realistic goal. "It completely is," he said. "We got the loss [against Calhoun last week] and that lit a fire under us today."