David Abikzer took control for the Hewlett boys soccer team not once, but twice on Wednesday night.
Abikzer scored the go-ahead goal in the second half and added another just moments later in a 4-2 Nassau A-III home victory over Jericho.
Abikzer broke a 1-1 tie with an eye-opening strike from about 20 yards just inside the left post with 21 minutes remaining. He added another score for good measure with 17:30 to go, essentially sealing the win for Hewlett (6-1-2).
The turning point of the match took place on a crucial penalty with 35:30 remaining. A red card put Jericho at a severe disadvantage the rest of the way with only 10 players on the pitch. The Bulldogs took advantage almost immediately, as Brayan Matamoros Dubon got behind the defense and snuck in the tying goal three and a half minutes later.
“After that red card we got a spark,” Abikzer said. “We knew they were down a man. So we definitely stayed on the offensive, got a couple of lucky bounces and put them away.”
“I thought the first half was pretty even,” Hewlett coach Nick Lacetera said. “We made one blunder and they scored. At halftime we talked about needing to outwork them. The red card definitely turned things around. We got pumped up and scoring the goal quickly after that really gave us a boost and got us going.”
Ely Assaf scored the final goal for the Bulldogs with 7:30 remaining, as Jericho fell to 6-1-4 in conference.
Jordan Miller scored Jericho’s goal in impressive fashion with 5:13 left in the first half. The Jayhawk captain raced upfield, controlled the ball and knocked it in from just inside of 10 yards on a breakaway to open the scoring on a long ball over the top with 5:13 remaining in the first half.
Kian Ghazvini nearly put Jericho on the board about six minutes earlier when a similar shot was saved by Hewlett’s Laurent Dorvilier, who finished with six saves, with just under 11 minutes to go in the opening half. Dorvilier also saved a close shot from Felipe Viveros about 12 minutes in.
David Lamour’s free kick with 17 minutes left in the first half took a deflection and sailed over the crossbar in Hewlett’s best scoring opportunity over the first 40 minutes.
The Bulldogs followed up with a corner kick less than a minute later that was punched out emphatically by Jericho goalkeeper Jake Levy. Levy, who entered the night leading Nassau in saves with 97, notched another eight.