He repeatedly used the back of his hand to wipe the considerable sweat off his brow, but nothing could wipe the smile off his face.
Alejandro Callejas, a senior forward for Brentwood who spent last season on the junior varsity because of a stacked roster, picked a most opportune time to score his first varsity goal.
Callejas took a pinpoint pass from Jefferson Portillo and booted it into the left corner with 23:07 left in the second half for the game-winner as the Indians outlasted defending Long Island and state Class AA champion Commack, 3-2, Monday in a spirited matchup of undefeated Suffolk I teams that gave a vocal crowd of about 300 fans at Commack High School plenty to shout about.
"Oh my God! I couldn't believe it at first. I thought they would call a foul or something," Callejas said. "It bounced at my feet and I just tried to get it off quickly because their goalie is great and I didn't want to give him time."
Callejas was one of five different goal-scorers as both teams generated multiple scoring opportunities. Rayneri Ruiz (on a free kick by Bryan Alfaro) and Kevin Trejo (off a steal and feed by Portillo) scored for Brentwood (4-0). Scott Cebollero scored on a penalty kick for Commack (3-1) to match Ruiz's early goal. Anthony Izzo tied it at 2 about 10 minutes into the second half with a header off a header from Cebollero. Both goalies -- Ryan Sinnott of Commack and Jayson Murillo of Brentwood -- made seven saves and were bombarded by numerous other shots that went high or wide.
"A typical Brentwood-Commack game," Indians coach Ron Eden said. "They are bigger and better when the ball is in the air. We are quicker and in the second half we put the ball on the ground and played our game."
Portillo and Cebollero were in the middle of things no matter where the ball was. Cebollero was stopped twice from close range by Murillo in the second half. Portillo did a solid job controlling the ball in the middle.
On the game-winner, the senior midfielder launched a high pass that cleared the entire Cougars' defense, where Callejas was waiting to finish. "I saw the ball come into the box. I don't think their guys noticed me," Callejas said. "But I know Jeff can make that pass."
Callejas is good at being patient. "We have such a deep program here that sometimes we have to send an 11th grader to the JV," Eden said. "Alejandro didn't complain. He just went down, played hard and look at him now. He's starting on the varsity and his first goal is a game-winner against Commack."
No wonder Callejas couldn't stop smiling Monday.