While the game may not have had any conference ramifications, St. Anthony’s boys soccer team didn’t need a lot of help getting pumped up for their non-league match with Massapequa on Monday night.
Pride, as it usually does anytime the Friars take the field in anything, still mattered — and that was all they needed.
“They’re a good side,” Fernando Robayo said after a 2-1 win over Massapequa at St. Anthony’s High School. “They came to our home last year, it was a tough game, and we came out with a win. This year, they came back again and we had to come out, play to win, and protect our home.”
Robayo had a hand in both St. Anthony’s goals, scoring the first one to tie the game midway through the second half and assisting on Dom D’Angelo’s game-winner a few minutes later.
“I was on the other side of the field,” D’Angelo said. “Fernando [Robayo] beat a player, crossed it into the middle, and I headed the ball in. It was a perfect cross and [the ball] went straight down the middle [of the net]. The goalkeeper was way off his line. I made sure the ball stayed down and I put it in.”
After playing a scoreless first half, St. Anthony’s (12-1-3) fell behind six minutes into the second when Massapequa’s Alessandro Sambone knocked in a header.
The early deficit, though certainly unwelcome, wasn’t a point of concern for St. Anthony’s. The Friars were at home. They were confident. And, perhaps most of all, they were mad.
“This has happened a couple of times this season,” Robayo said of falling behind. “I just calm myself down and tell my team to calm down . . . We came back. It was just focusing. We tend to let the goals against us come first and then, once that happens, we kind of get into a shock and play our style of soccer.”
D’Angelo added: “I think we’re pretty comfortable [falling behind]. We’re very composed when it comes to that. I think we use anger when we do go down and force that right to them and use that to our advantage . . . As soon as we gave up a goal, we put high pressure and did what we were supposed to do and came up with two results.”