It took just 35 seconds for Cold Spring Harbor’s Jack Henick to step into the spotlight and put his mark on the Nassau Class B semifinal by scoring the game’s first goal.
More impressively, he did it, basically, with one shoe.
"Just a little bit before I scored, my [left] shoelace came untied and then it got stepped on," he said, "The [eyelet] was completely torn and the lace ripped."
That didn’t stop the Seahawks junior forward from trucking 65 yards down the right side on a diagonal and slip one inside the near post with his right foot. It was the first of three goals for Henick as top-seeded Cold Spring Harbor downed No. 4 Wheatley, 6-3, at Hampton Stadium in Mineola on Monday.
CSH (9-4-2) faces third-seeded Locust Valley (7-4-2) in the B final 7 p.m. Wednesday at Hampton Stadium. Locust Valley beat second-seeded West Hempstead, 2-1, in double overtime int he late semifinal on Monday.
"I certainly didn’t think we’d get six goals," said Seahawks coach Christian Lynch, who noted his team took advantage of its top scorer, Nicholas Discala, being man-marked and seeing occasional bracketing by Wheatley. Discala did score his 13th goal of the season for the Seahawks. Lukas Sheridan and Henick's twin brother, Lukas, also scored for CSH.
Perhaps the Seahawks biggest goal of the game came when Ryan Spielberger kept the ball from going over the end line and sent a great cross to Sheridan, who gave CSH a 3-1 lead in the 25th minute. The score came just 20 seconds after Ben Gold netted the first of his two goals for Wheatley (5-5-3).
Greg Gottlieb converted a penalty kick in the 45th minute for Wheatley’s other goal. Goalkeeper Bryan McCleary had 10 saves in the loss, and a handful were incredible, point-blank stops to keep things close for Wheatley. CSH goalkeeper Jonathan Aviles had 10 saves in the win.
"That goal [by Sheridan] meant a lot," said Jack Henick, who nearly tied his output for regular-season scoring in one playoff game. He had four goals before the postseason.
The Seahawks have not won a Nassau B title since a five-year run that netted five titles from 2005-09. Henick and his teammates know they are close to ending that drought.
"We said from the beginning of the season we were going to take it minute-by-minute, practice-by-practice," he said. "We’ve worked our butts off to get this far, but this is only step one."
After all, a step needs only one shoe.