Commack boys soccer surged out of the gate Monday afternoon and it did not take long for this burst to pay dividends on the scoreboard.
Justin Galluzzo scored two goals within the first four minutes of the match and Kyle Gehnrich added two more goals to lead No. 2 Commack over No. 6 Floyd, 5-0, in a Suffolk AA semifinal. The Cougars will play for the county final on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Diamond in the Pines against top-seeded Brentwood.
“We’ve been playing hard and we wanted to come out hard today,” Galluzzo said. “We have a special group of kids and now we can’t wait for Thursday.”
Commack (18-0-1) got the scoring started in the second minute after Nikola Kovacevic chipped a ball in over the backline and found Galluzzo, who fired past the keeper. Two minutes later, Galluzzo was on the scoresheet again.
“On the second one, Kyle Artura threw it into the box, it bounced over a couple of kids and I got my head on it,” he said. “I was feeling like we had this game, but we didn't want to get complacent. We knew they could come back from any score and we just had to keep playing hard.”
To keep Floyd (9-4-4) off the board, the Cougars defense had to contain prolific midfielder Mario Salguero, who has 16 goals and seven assists this year.
“It was a matter of staying on the goal side of him, because if you take one wrong turn, that kid is by you,” Commack coach Dave Moran said. “He's extremely dangerous and he's extremely talented. He should be proud of himself.”
Commack has some dangerous players of its own, and that was evident in the second half as the Cougars put the match away.
“Joe Cebollero is going down the line, I was making a run, I saw the ball pop over, and I just wanted to put it on target,” Gehnrich said of his goal with 33:18 left. “It felt amazing because before the game, my teammates said I was due for a goal and it ended up happening. I was so excited and so were my teammates, which I loved.”
Gehnrich added to the margin with a penalty kick about 17 minutes later before assisting Mike Maldonado’s goal 20 seconds before the final whistle.
“We’ve worked so hard to get to the final and we’ve wanted it for so long,” Artura said. “I can’t even explain how amazing it feels.”