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Garden City's Tommy Poz: Lucky and good in boys soccer win over Mepham

Garden City's Tommy Poz (10) is congratulated after

Garden City's Tommy Poz (10) is congratulated after scoring the only goal of the game during a Nassau boys soccer game against Mepham in Bellmore on Tuesday, April 6, 2021. Credit: Peter Frutkoff

Garden City freshman Tommy Poz is probably too young to know the old saying -- sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.

The 15-year-old was a little of both on Tuesday, much to the delight of his Garden City teammates.

The attacking center midfielder beat the Mepham goalkeeper through the wickets from six yards out in the 62nd minute. The visiting Trojans made the goal stand and remained unbeaten with a hard-fought, 1-0 win against scrappy Mepham in a Nassau A1/A2 crossover boys soccer match.

"I took the ball, looked up at the net and I was like, ‘I’m going to bury this,’ " said Poz, who has four goals this season.

Did he mean to go five-hole or was it a bit of good fortune? "Yeah, I was kind of lucky, yeah," said Poz, with a grin.

Garden City (7-0) dominated possession throughout the game, but couldn’t beat the shape of Mepham (3-3-1) until later in the second half.

Brandon Hislop, Mepham’s leading goal scorer this year, also happens to be an academy goalkeeper who will attend LIU Post after graduation. Pirates head coach Zachary Gosse made the decision to give Hislop his first start of the season in net. He rewarded his coach with 12 saves.

As the minutes mounted in the second half, Garden City coach Paul Cutter proved prophetic when he yelled to his team: "GC don’t panic. It’s going to come."

The Trojans finally cracked the Pirates’ code when senior Nick Prime sent a long diagonal pass to the right corner which found Andrew Schneider. The senior sent a cross into the box which Poz converted for the game’s only goal with 18:11 remaining. It was GC’s 20th shot of the game. They ended with 22.

"We saw [Poz] earlier in the season and we told him if you’re good enough, you’re old enough," Cutter said, "and he’s good enough."

The Trojans defense is certainly good enough, too, anchored by seniors James Costello and Brendan Haggerty, and junior Ryan Buccellato. Senior keeper Sam Myers had four saves for his sixth shutout this season.

Garden City has the best goal differential in Nassau this season with 24 goals for and only one goal against (plus-23). (Center Moriches leads Long Island with a plus-45).

"We try not to [look at our statistics]," said Haggerty, who will attend Hobart. "We want to play our best against whoever we face and get the job done."

Whether it’s lucky or good. Or both.

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