Massapequa’s Jake Bresnihan came out for the second half feeling what everyone else had seen: His side needed a jolt.
He took the initiative seven minutes into the half by speeding past the back line, taking the ball and putting it in the net. It energized Massapequa (3-1-0), which added two more goals Tuesday in a 3-0 AA-I win over host Uniondale (0-1-1).
“We played the ball, put it down, knocked it around and it was able to benefit us in the end,” Bresnihan said.
Five straight minutes of Massapequa attacks followed, and at the end of it, there was no question about who had taken the momentum. The ball came off a free kick, bounced off players and landed in front of Ryan McMahon in the middle of the box. He didn’t hesitate to add an exclamation point.
“That was definitely a turning point in the game,” McMahon said of the goal, which was assisted by Alessandro Sambone. “We knew that we were ahead, we started to communicate. We were negative before that point and then after that, we had it all working together with chemistry and communication.”
Uniondale pressed early and often, coming close to breaking the tie with a forward-moving connection of Darwin Velasquez and Marvin Velasquez feeding to Leonel Alfaro. But Massapequa coach Matt Burke said he felt lucky to get out of the half 0-0 with the opportunity to adjust. The Chiefs moved to a 4-5-1 by bringing a forward back, which created space.
“Then we dominated the first 10 minutes and we were able to punch one in there, which was big,” Burke said.
Steven Mahan had four saves for Massapequa, and Sambone had the finishing touch — a free kick from the top of the box with a couple minutes remaining that sailed into the top right corner of the net.
“This is building big confidence for us,” Sambone said. “It’s a good win. They gave us a good fight.”