Jason Intermesoli is not a time-and-room shooter. He’s more of a creator in tight spaces. A quick move and a quick look is all he usually gets. And sometimes, the Sayville junior attack gets no look at all.
That was the case early in the second quarter Saturday when Intermesoli turned in a spectacular “how did he do that” goal, falling to the ground with his back to the goalie and, from his knees, hitting the net with an over-the-shoulder, no-look bullet. In a man-down situation, no less.
Intermesoli scored in a more traditional fashion later, tying the game with a solo dodge from behind the cage with 38 seconds left and winning it with a similar move 1:48 into overtime as host No. 4 Sayville defeated No. 5 Islip, 9-8, in an exciting Suffolk B quarterfinal. The Golden Flashes will play at No. 1 Bayport-Blue Point on Thursday.
“He’s been doing stuff like that all year,” Sayville coach Don Fleming said of Intermesoli, one of the top scorers in the county with 47 goals and 33 assists.
But the stakes were higher Saturday because it was an elimination game and the Golden Flashes (13-4) were reeling after blowing a 5-0 lead to gritty Islip (9-7) and falling behind 8-7 with two minutes left in regulation on an unassisted goal by Pat McDonaugh, his third of the game.
Sayville’s defense forced a turnover, the offense moved the ball and Jack Coan, the Wisconsin-bound quarterback who is also a standout midfielder, set a pick that freed up Intermesoli for the game-tying goal that prompted an exuberant fist-pumping reaction in front of the Sayville bench.
In overtime, Sayville’s Gage Gomez won the initial faceoff and Fleming called a timeout to deliver a simple message. “Get it in Jay’s hands or Jack’s hands,” the coach said. “Get a shot or draw a double.”
Islip wasn’t surprised by that strategy and it took nearly two minutes before Intermesoli could again shake off his man behind the cage. “We were taking our time. We didn’t want to force anything,” Intermesoli said. “I came around the side and shot it high.”
He carefully aimed both of those clutch shots, unlike his highlight-reel goal that gave the Golden Flashes a 4-0 lead. “I saw an angle to the net, but I got tripped,” Intermesoli recounted. “If I don’t shoot it, it gets taken away. I saw where the goalie was and just took the shot.”
No time, no room, no problem.