Brailey leads Massapequa to LI title game
As Sean Brailey strutted toward the goal getting ready for penalty kicks, the Massapequa fans chanted his name loudly. Brailey watched Farmingdale win in penalty kicks in the semifinals Saturday and said it boosted his confidence last night.
It certainly appeared that way. After 110 minutes of a scoreless tie, Brailey stopped all three penalty kicks against No. 4 Farmingdale and the Chiefs scored on all three of their chances in the Nassau Class AA boys soccer championship at Hofstra. Third-seeded Massapequa (13-3-2) will play the winner of today's Brentwood-Commack matchup in the Long Island Class AA championship at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the Dowling Sports Complex.
Massapequa and Farmingdale were declared co-champions in Nassau Class AA.
"I picked up some tendencies watching them the other day and it worked out," Brailey said. "I anticipated really well."
After the scoreless tie, Fabricio Bustillo was first up for Farmingdale and Brailey made the save. Roberto Reyna sent a shot to the left side of the net and Farmingdale goalkeeper Harry Rosen went to the right, giving the Chiefs a 1-0 lead. Brailey stopped Victor Sanchez before Dakota Barnthan scored on a goal similar to Reyna's.
Brailey stopped the third kick by Fernando Cortez and Brian Bartichek scored to the left side, just like the first two.
"I put in the last goal," Bartichek said, "but Brailey put in all the work. In practice, he stopped all of our penalty kicks. I'm surprised he did so well because of the pressure, but not surprised because he's really good."
Maybe that's why the Chiefs struggled in penalty kicks all week.
"We've been working on penalty kicks all week and didn't do well," Massapequa coach Keith Stanley said. "Our shots were much crisper and I think the pressure actually helped."
Massapequa won the county championship for the seventh time in eight seasons. The Chiefs didn't reach the semifinals last season.
"It was a horrible feeling," Bartichek said. "Two years ago we lost in the Long Island championship and to not get past the quarterfinals last year was awful. This is always the goal."
Farmingdale (10-3-5) struggled at times during the season, but came on strongly.
"Penalty kicks are a flip of the coin," Farmingdale coach Kevin Shanley said. "You have to win it on the field and we didn't do that. We had a great season and overcame a lot of injuries."