Hicksville goalkeeper Connor McPartland made two consecutive penalty-kick stops, and Francesco Cirigliano scored the clincher on a left-footer into the top left corner as the No. 1 Comets outlasted No. 2 Massapequa, and won on penalty kicks 4-2 after the teams played to a 1-1 tie Wednesday night in an excruciating and exhausting Nassau AA boys soccer championship game.
A loud crowd of more than 800 at Bethpage High School enjoyed a game highlighted by many outstanding plays but few scoring chances. Hicksville (15-0-2), which won its last county title in 2011, will face the Suffolk AA winner on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. at Farmingdale State. Massapequa, which won the county title in 2013, finished 14-2-1
Matt Sloan and Nicholas Rodriguez scored for Hicksville in the first two rounds of the five-round penalty kick segment that followed two 15-minute "golden goal'' overtimes that were scoreless. Alex Sambone and Anthony Cestaro answered for Massapequa. McPartland and the Chiefs' Jacob Liese each made sprawling saves in Round 3. But McPartland made another diving stop that opened the door for Cirigliano to clinch it.
McPartland made seven saves before the PK segment while Liese stopped eight. It was tied at 1 after regulation, with both teams scoring on penalty kicks.
In the first OT, neither team was tentative. Massapequa's Peter Meyer took a shot from 25 yards that soared over the crossbar. Hicksville's Sloan tried a similar tactic from about the same distance, and his blast also went over the goal.
In the second sudden-victory period, Sloan couldn't maneuver for a clean shot and sent his bouncer wide left with 12:53 left.
Sloan, in the middle of the action all night and a fiery presence who openly played to the crowd, gave the Comets a 1-0 lead with 22:19 left in regulation on a penalty kick. It was assessed when Liese made a sliding attempt but made contact with a Hicksville player and not the ball.
After his goal, Sloan raced toward the Hicksville fans and exhorted them to "get up.''
Massapequa's relentless attack finally paid off when a deliberate hand ball in the box resulted in a penalty kick. Peter Meyer converted with a blast into the right corner to tie it at 1 with 7:46 left.