John Insinga said he caught defense by surprise when he whirled...

John Insinga said he caught defense by surprise when he whirled in for winning goal on Friday, April 5, 2024. Credit: Bob Sorensen

Only a part-time role player a year ago, John Insinga became a hero on Friday.

The sophomore midfielder found himself with the ball about 30 yards from the goal and no more than a handful of seconds left on the clock in a tie game. He figured there was no way that Northport would expect him to take the last shot instead of top scorers Jake Gallose and A.J. Jeffares. And so he went for it.

Insinga made a whirling penetrations and got off a shot that hit the back of the net as time expired. The goal completed host Connetquot’s seemingly improbably comeback for a 9-8 Suffolk A victory over the three-time defending county champions.

“I thought they’d never expect it to be me,” Insinga said afterward, flanked by Gallose and Jeffares. “They had to be thinking it would be one of these guys.”

And there was plenty of reason for the Tigers to be looking for Gallose and Jeffares. Gallose scored four goals and Jeffares three goals on the day.

“We wanted to go at them right at the end and we got (Insinga) going down hill and he made a winning play,” Connetquot coach Brett Jeffares said. “Jake and A.J. had been so good and they had tough matchups there, but we tend to get the ball to the right guys at the right time.”

Connetquot (5-1, 4-0) was getting buried in the early going as the Tigers (3-1, 3-1) scored seven unanswered goals over the first and second quarters for a 7-1 lead with 3:39 left in the first half. Gallose scored his second and third goals before the intermission to get Connetquot within four.

A.J. Jeffares scored all three of his goals and Gallose his fourth in the third quarter to creep within 8-7. Aydan DeLiso was in the right spot at the right time with 5:17 to play, corralling the rebound when Northport goalie Quinn Napolitano deftly turned away a Gallose shot and put it in to tie things.

DeLiso also scored the overtime winner in a triumph over Sachem North.

Jack Deliberti had three goals and Luke Loiacono scored twice for Northport and DeLiso made nine saves. Connetquot goalie Connor FitzGibbon finished with 13 saves.

Connetquot graduated Newsday All-Long Island selections Tyler McCarthy and Tyler Moore and might have shaped up to be having a rebuilding season. That may no longer be the arc its traveling.

“Those two guys did a whole lot for us last season, so I could see people thinking we’d be weak,” A.J. Jeffares said. “That (perception) has brought this group together to play our best.”

“Northport has the three-peat and the No. 1 seeding this year so this was a game we circled,” Gallose said. “After this, people have to see this team is legit.”

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