NEWBURGH, N.Y. — The combination of a lightning-quick attack and rock-solid defense has keyed Amityville all season and both were on display Saturday morning to lift the Warriors into the state soccer final.
Henry Martinez and Rolman Guardado scored to lead the Warriors to a 2-0 win over Rochester Brighton in a Class A semifinal at Mount Saint Mary College. Amityville (20-0-1) will play for its second state title at 8:30 a.m. Sunday against Somers at Middletown.
Kyle Barsic made six saves to help the Warriors to their 15th shutout of the season. “They’re tough and they’re gritty,” coach Mike Abbondondolo said. “Offensively, we’re dangerous, defensively we’re sound, and we’re playing on the last day of the season. That’s all we can ask for.”
The Warriors created a number of good chances early, before Martinez broke through in the 18th minute with a strike from long range. “As soon I touched it, I knew what I was going to do,” Martinez said. “After that, I knew we would win.”
That is precisely what happened in the second half, as Amityville looked even more dangerous on the counterattack as Brighton pushed in vain for an equalizer.
Guardado and Kymani Hines created havoc for the Brighton defense on the break. “When you have weapons like that, and they’re touching-and-going and moving off the ball, they’re extremely dangerous,” Abbondondolo said.
“We know what to do because we’ve been doing it all season,” Hines said.
With 10:12 left, the Warriors converted one of their many good chances and put the game away, as Guardado pounced on a ball in the penalty area and fired home from close range.
“We tried to attack the other team early and then our counterattack took over in the second,” Guardado, who scored his 16th goal, said.
The lead was more than secure as the Warriors defense held Brighton in check for much of the day. When Brighton was able to break through, Barsic was on hand to make a number of fine saves.
“We communicated the whole game and stayed organized,” he said. “That’s our goal every game. When we all do our job, this is what happens.”
Amityville is in the state final for the second time in four seasons and will hope to duplicate its result from 2015, when it defeated Pearl River, 2-0.
Said Guardado, who played for that championship team: “It’ll just take 80 more minutes to win another state title for the school. This is a special team.”