Alex Nicolaou of East Meadow (19) heads the ball into...

Alex Nicolaou of East Meadow (19) heads the ball into the net putting his team in the lead by one during the Nassau Class AAA boys soccer playoff against Uniondale on Wednesday, October 25, 2023. Credit: Dawn McCormick

This seemed like a pretty big upset.

Eighth-seeded East Meadow rallied for three second-half goals and took down the No. 1 seed in Nassau Class AAA boys soccer, beating Uniondale, 3-1, in a quarterfinal match Wednesday at Cedar Creek Park in Seaford.

But Jets coach Bryan Horrmann begged to defer with the upset premise.

“I don’t think so,” Horrmann said. “I think we’re both very strong teams. I have much respect for Uniondale. Uniondale is a very, very strong powerhouse team. But Triple A has shown this season that anything can happen on any given day.”  

This was that day.

“F-A-T-E,” Knights coach Cohen Nelson said. “There are days when it’s just not your day. Unfortunately, today was not our day.”

Actually, Sept. 21 was not their day, either. East Meadow also edged the Conference AAA regular-season champ, 2-1, at Uniondale.

So Horrmann’s team will be playing at noon Sunday at Farmingdale State against the winner of Wednesday night’s game between No. 4 Baldwin and No. 5 Oceanside.

The Jets returned 10 starters after a 2-11-1 run in 2022 and are now 8-5-2 semifinalists.

“We’re scrappy,”  Horrmann said. “We don’t give up. Once we start working together and we keep this up, we’re going to be a very tough team to stop.”

That was apparent in the second half.

East Meadow was trailing, 1-0, at the intermission.

Raymond McLeod scored from the left doorstep off an assist from Roderick Rodriguez to to tie it just 4:04 into the second half.

Alex Nicolaou then untied it with 24:04 left, heading in a corner kick served by Dylan Wauchope.

About four minutes later, Wauchope took a penalty kick. The junior wing went left with the shot and beat Hugo Alessandro for the 3-1 lead.

“We’re always a goal-scoring-threat team,” Wauchope said.

Jack DeVoti, in his return after missing the previous two games with a concussion, made sure the Jets didn’t give up any after halftime. The senior goalkeeper delivered two sensational saves.

“We had that passion to beat them again,” DeVoti said.

Adan Gomez scored the Knights’ goal. They played a man down for a little more than half of the second half due to a red card. They finished 11-3-1.

“Success,” Nelson said of the season. “Success. The final game never ever dictates the journey. … [We] won the conference, and that is something to hold onto in terms of accomplishment."

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