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Jason Wasserman, Richie Rambarran playing to keep Syosset's soccer season alive

Syosset's Richie Rambarran breaks for the ball against

Syosset's Richie Rambarran breaks for the ball against Massapequa on Friday, Oct. 31, 2014. Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

Jason Wasserman, Richie Rambarran and Syosset's boys soccer team are not looking for revenge.

Revenge would only be a byproduct.

No. 13 Freeport, the No. 5 Braves' first-round opponent in the Nassau Class AA playoffs, just happens to be the last team to have beaten Syosset (10-3-2).

"As much as people want to say, 'Get revenge,' " Wasserman said, "it's just we've got to win the game."

Syosset coach Brett Waxer said his team left Freeport on Oct. 8 with a bad taste in their mouths after a 3-2 loss.

"We weren't OK with it," he said.

Waxer said he believes the Braves will be able to spread out better in Saturday's match at home, playing to their strength of opening up the field and letting midfielders Wasserman and Rambarran create. That was a key in their 4-0 win over Freeport on Sept. 11.

"It helps us when you can possess the ball, play to feet more and play our game," said Wasserman, who leads Syosset with nine goals and five assists.

Wasserman and Rambarran said Syosset is a different team than it was two weeks ago. The Braves battled inconsistency throughout the season. They created plenty of opportunities in their three losses, but they could not finish enough of them.

"Our mentality wasn't always the best going into some games," Wasserman said, "but I think that's something we've fixed."

In their last two games of the regular season, the Braves defeated No. 2 Massapequa and played to a scoreless draw against No. 3 Plainview JFK. Waxer said Massapequa rested standout midfielder Pete Meyer and a few other players, but he was happy with the 2-0 win, nonetheless.

"It was great," said Rambarran, who has five goals and four assists. "We know we're a great team and we can beat other great teams. We're looking to win the county championship this time around."

Syosset fell to MacArthur in last year's Nassau AA championship. Rambarran and Griffin Halpern started every game as sophomores in 2014, and Rambarran said their learning experience and the leadership qualities they developed under captains Ari Chaskes and Ty Tarnowski has paid off in their quest to return to the final.

But the Braves added several new pieces to their team, including Wasserman and sophomore Sal Inglima, who has three goals and three assists.

Wasserman was a particularly key addition. He joined Syosset's program for his senior year after playing his first three high-school seasons for an academy.

"At academy, it's great for individuals," Wasserman said, "but it's not always playing and bleeding and sweating for the guys on the field next to you. This program, we play for each other."

So when they face Freeport at noon Saturday, they won't play for revenge. They'll play for each other, to keep their season alive.

"We're hungry," Rambarran said. "We're going for a county championship."


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