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Robert Acosta's goal, Michael Koutsouras' saves lift New Hyde Park to well-earned draw against Garden City

New Hyde Park and Garden City tied, 1-1, in a Nassau A-I boys soccer match on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019. Credit: Newsday / Sal Cacciatore

Two years after enduring a winless season, New Hyde Park took on one of the Island’s top programs Wednesday afternoon and came away with its unbeaten record still intact.

Thanks to a second-half goal from Robert Acosta and 15 saves from Michael Koutsouras, New Hyde Park earned a 1-1 draw with visiting Garden City in a Nassau A-I boys soccer match. Acosta opened the scoring in the 46th minute before Andrew Schneider tied the score for the Trojans with 10:55 left.

“Garden City is one of the best teams in the state and for us to come such a long way in two years and get an amazing result like this is crazy,” central midfielder Thomas Stec said. The Gladiators went 0-10-2 in 2017 but are now 4-0-3 and second only to Garden City (7-0-1) in the conference. “To be undefeated after playing them is such an accomplishment.”

“That’s a big tie to get against the first-place team that’s undefeated in the league,” New Hyde Park coach Daniel Cinelli said. “They’ve given up very few goals, so to get one on them really means something to our team.”

New Hyde Park has been stout in its own right, as Schneider’s goal was only the second the Gladiators have conceded this season.

The defense was tested early and often by Garden City, which controlled possession and applied constant pressure. Koutsouras was up to the task and made a series of impressive saves, including a diving stop on a free-kick heading towards the top corner in the 33rd minute

“Without him, it could have been a 2-1 or 3-1 win for them,” Cinelli said.

“He’s amazing and the stats show it,” Stec said of Koutsouras. “He’s just one of the best in the county.”

Acosta put the Gladiators on the board after pouncing on a loose ball in the box, but Garden City remained patient, and got its equalizer when Schneider connected on an assist from Joe Bernieri.

“New Hyde Park was really good today,” Trojans coach Paul Cutter said. “They gave us a battle and I’m proud of our guys for coming back and getting something from the game.”

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