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Oceanside, Hicksville draw in Nassau boys’ soccer match

Hicksville's Francisco Cirigliano, left, who scored the tying

Hicksville's Francisco Cirigliano, left, who scored the tying goal, is defended by Oceanside's Valentino Napoli at Hicksville High School on Friday, Sept. 30, 2016. Photo Credit: Steven Ryan

A year ago, it would have seemed unlikely if not impossible.

But Oceanside has proved its legitimacy in Nassau Class AA boys soccer by emerging from its season series with Hicksville without a loss.

The Sailors did not pull off a clean sweep — after beating the Comets on Sept. 6, they played to a 2-2 draw Friday afternoon — but they like where they stand.

“I think we’re the better team both games,” said Joe Mesoraca, whose 14th-minute goal gave Oceanside a 2-0 lead Friday. “We’re not sleepers this year. We’re here for business.”

That wasn’t the case last year. Though the Sailors made the playoffs, Hicksville swept the two-game series by a combined score of 7-0. The Comets went on to win the county title.

“Maybe we did get a little cocky, went in over our heads, and that loss [to Oceanside] really changed things for us,” said Matt Sloan, who captains a Hicksville team loaded with returnees. “We moved some things around, and now we’re rolling.”

The Comets (6-1-1 in Nassau AA-II) had not lost since the 1-0 result at Oceanside (5-1-2). They had gone 8-0-1 in their previous nine matches.

But at halftime Friday, they were in danger of losing.

The Sailors led 2-0 and with injuries to Storm Strongin (five goals, six assists) and Austin Mars (three goals, one assist), the Comets needed to make a change.

Coach Scott Starkey elected to move starting goalkeeper Connor McPartland to forward, hoping for a spark. Three minutes after the break, McPartland rose above the pack and headed in Jose Gil’s corner kick for his first varsity goal.

“I’m a goalie, so [it felt] pretty good,” McPartland said.

Francisco Cirigliano netted the equalizer off Sloan’s assist in the 61st minute.

“We let them come at us when we should have come at them,” Oceanside defender Joe Di Miceli said.

But even without the win, the Sailors are the only team other than Chaminade to not lose to Hicksville.

“That makes a statement that we’re not here to mess around,” said Jason Rosa, who scored Oceanside’s first goal. “We’re real ly serious about this.”

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