After a back-and-forth contest Tuesday, it was Carle Place goalie Kevin Fernandes who stood tall.
Fernandes watched as Center Moriches’ final penalty kick cleared the crossbar and gave Carle Place a 2-1 victory in penalty kicks in the Long Island Class B boys soccer final.
“When I think about a shot, I have to think it’s going to be as good as any other shot," Fernandes said. "If it goes over [the crossbar], it’s just extra for the goaltender.”
Gio Fabiano and Kevin Graca scored penalty-kick goals for Carle Place.
Carle Place advances to play in the Southeast Regional Final, a state quarterfinal, on Saturday. The state semifinals and finals are scheduled for Nov. 10-11 in Middletown.
After allowing an opening goal in the shootout to Center Moriches’ Matt Alifano, Fernandes stopped the two more shots and watched another go wide.
“All I needed to do was see which leg they used, see where they were positioned, and that allowed me to guess the right side," Fernandes said.
“I knew that penalties are just a mindset, so if I put it where I wanted to and didn’t let the crowd get to me, I was going to score,” said Fabiano, who scored the first PK goal for Carle Place.
“In the game, [goalikeeper Curtis Copenhaver] was really aggressive.," said Graca, who scored the second PK. "I knew that if he was aggressive in the shootout, he was just going to pick a side, so if I put it down the middle, there was no way he was getting to that.”
The two squads played to a scoreless first half, with Center Moriches dominating most of the offensive action. Fernandes weathered multiple storms and kept the score locked.
After an offsides call wiped out a Center Moriches goal with 27:31 left in the opening half, Fernandes put on a show. He made a save with 21:18 left in the first, sliding down toward the left side of the goal. Later, Fernandes grabbed a throw-in to disrupt a Center Moriches flurry and then swiped a shot that deflected off his own man with 12:00 left before the half.
But, Fernandes wasn’t done. He made a save off a header with 11 minutes to go and then watched a shot sail over the crossbar with 7:15 left in the first. Copenhaver had a few tricks up his sleeve before the break, as well. He stopped a Carle Place breakaway with six minutes left and sent it booming out of bounds.
The second half was more of the same, with play more even and mainly concentrated between the 30 yard lines.
But, that’s not to say there wasn’t room for more exciting goalie play.
Copenhaver showed his aggressiveness in the second half and it paid off. He came out of his goal and headed away a high bouncing ball at the 20 yard line, disrupting a potential Carle Place breakaway chance with 5:10 left in the game.
Fernandes countered by picking up a rolling ball and switching the field with 2:30 left.
In overtime, a Center Moriches shot went past Fernandes by skirted just wide right and kept the game going. Fernandes left the game in overtime momentarily with and injury but came back moments later to make a point-blank save with 6:18 left. Fernandez stopped another shot with 2:07 left.