Oceanside yielded the first two goals Thursday at Freeport, but the Sailors had been in this type of hole before. In fact, it was just two days earlier when they found themselves looking up from two goals down in the first half against Westbury before rallying to win.
But now there were just 12 minutes left against an unbeaten team, and they still hadn’t found the net.
Then Matt Jerchower scored with 11:35 to go and Spencer Roth scored with 5:17 left. Another comeback. Oceanside walked off with a satisfying 2-2 tie in this Nassau AA soccer match.
"It talks about their heart," Sailors coach Patrick Turk said. "It talks about their desire. We want to put the points up. We want to get the results. We’ll give anything to get there."
Jerchower cut it to 2-1 for Oceanside (3-2-1, 3-1-1) when he headed the ball in off the right post.
David Acker then sent a through ball into the box. Roth found it at his feet and beat backup goalkeeper Antoni Giron, who made nine saves along the way.
"They’re the top of the table and we found a way to make a tie," said Roth, a senior striker/outside wing.
Josue Villeda delivered the first goal for the Red Devils (3-0-3, 3-0-2) with 5:30 left in the first half. The All-County senior striker beat Scott Campuzano (11 saves) with a rocket of a shot from about 25 yards out on the right side.
Kevin Mejia doubled the lead with 22 minutes remaining in the second half.
"I’m disappointed that we couldn’t close it," Freeport coach Craig Klasson said. "But we’ll take a point and keep building on this effort."
Klasson’s team exited in the quarterfinals last season, but it has 15 seniors and a lot of skilled firepower. Turk called Freeport "a fantastic team."
Oceanside, a semifinalist in the spring, is a team that has talent as well as heart in Turk’s view.
So both coaches see their team as a contender. Both would gladly sign up for a rematch.
"I would love to," Turk said. "Let’s make it at county finals."
"Absolutely," Klasson said. "… They’re extremely talented. It’s a good matchup for both of us. I believe that we do have the skill and we have the senior leadership to do so."