MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. — Thanks to style and skill on the field and a closeness forged by rallying together off of it, the Amityville Warriors are state champions again.
Henry Martinez scored in the 20th and 52nd minutes to lead Amityville past Somers, 2-1, in the Class A state boys soccer championship Sunday morning at Middletown High School. Somers, from Westchester, pulled a goal back off a corner with seven minutes left, but the Warriors held on to win their second state title in program history (they also won in 2015).
“They come from all different backgrounds and came together for one purpose: to play together,” coach Mike Abbondondolo said. “We say ‘family’ and I know other teams say ‘family on three,’ but we really mean it. The support they showed for me and my family in a time of need was just amazing.”
In June, Abbondondolo’s sister Gina passed away. The Amityville players went to the services to support the family and dedicated their season to her.
“We decided we were going to do it for Gina this year,” forward Kymani Hines said. “Coach Mike and ‘Papa Mike’ [Abbondondolo’s father, who is an assistant coach] always stood with us and are always there for us when we need them. Why not give them the same gift? We did it for Gina.”
“Every time we stepped on a practice field and every game, we tried to work our hardest knowing she was watching over us,” forward Rolman Guardado said.
On the field Sunday, Amityville (21-0-1) showed the dynamic attacking skills and defensive solidity that helped the Warriors dominate all season. While Somers started strong, a series of Kyle Barsic saves kept them off the board, and as the first half progressed, Amityville began to show its skill and take over the game.
The Warriors got their breakthrough after Hines drew away the defense to create space for Martinez’s run from midfield. Guardado picked out Martinez with a pinpoint pass, and the midfielder took a touch and put his right-footed shot past the keeper from about 14 yards out.
“I combined with Kymani and Rolman, I saw the ball and I just put it on target,” Martinez said.
Martinez gave the Warriors a two-goal cushion, after bursting past the Somers backline, dribbling past the goalkeeper and putting the ball into the open net.
“I knew he was going to come up clutch,” Guardado said of Martinez. “When he’s one-on-one with the keeper, he’s not missing.”
“He’s got everything,” Abbondondolo said. “If you need him to win balls in the air, he can. If you need someone to score or defend, he can do that because he’s just pure quality.”
Amityville kept its composure late, even as Somers picked up a trio of yellow cards and scored with seven minutes left on a goal from Lucas Fecci. The Westchester side had a series of late threats, but the Warriors held on.
“I’m going to miss everything about this team, the jokes, the laughs, doing everything together,” Hines said. “We’re always together, even in school. I’ve never played on a team like this. I’ve never had a feeling like this before.”