The moment called for a big play, and Roberth Perez and Norvin Martinez-Hernandez delivered it for Amityville. Its so-called "revenge tour" – their nickname for this postseason after coming up one win short of a state title a year ago – is now booked for a date upstate.
The Suffolk champs had their hands full on Sunday against Glen Cove in the Long Island Class A title game. With the score tied and clock winding down, Martinez-Hernandez struck a direct kick beautifully toward goal. Perez dashed in from the left side and got his head to it first. The ball just eluded the outstretched arms of goalkeeper Bryan Hernandez with 3:20 left in regulation.
The goal proved to be the difference in a 3-2 win at Mitchel Athletic Complex that gave Amityville (18-1-1) its second straight Long Island championship and fifth in school history. Amityville will meet Section V champion Spencerport (16-4-1) in a state semifinal Saturday morning at Monroe-Woodbury High School.
“Norv’s job is to put the ball in the right place and he found me,” Perez said. “I always feel like I can outjump everybody and I thought my height could be a factor.”
Amityville coach Mike Abbondondolo, who was calling for Martinez-Hernandez to pass the ball over to speedy Alan Funez, said, “Roberth is so good on balls in the air, I just thought putting it toward goal was the right play.”
“We were concerned about Perez’s height coming into the game,” Glen Cove coach Brian Smith said. “We did a lot right, but we got beaten on the best play they have.”
“Rob’s been through enough things that he’s now built for this moment,” Abbondondolo said. “He put us on his back.”
Amityville came out aggressive, but Glen Cove (12-4-2) put them in a hole for the first time this postseason with a counter that ended with Jose Rumipamba heading in Enry Hernandez’s kick from the corner.
“Being in that situation, we couldn’t let it take our emotions,” Martinez-Hernandez said.
Amityville answered less than two minutes later with a Hugo Rodriguez tying goal.
Stanley Louis beat Bryan Hernandez to a high bounding ball and tapped it over the onrushing keeper for a 2-1 lead with 30:04 to play. Glen Cove evened the score with 18:37 left when Londell Wheeler took a pass off his chest in front of a goal and scored.
“Our team has this vibe now and I could see it in them when we came together at school for the ride,” Louis said. “We feel we’ve become a force. We feel like every day will be our day.”