It was a clash of the undefeated Wednesday night when South Side met Hewlett for a Nassau A-III boys soccer showdown.
The determination was palpable on the field as both teams started off strong defensively. It seemed as if neither team would score in the first half.
That was until Joe Buglione scored with 1:08 remaining in the half. Soon after, Rob Reis scored three minutes into the second, securing the win for South Side over Hewlett, 2-0. The Bulldogs drop to 3-1-1.
“I was just keeping my head up and hoping we could keep the pressure up and get one in before the half,” Buglione said. “We had to keep playing our style and keep up the intensity.”
The field was a pressure cooker. Both teams had a few shots on goal with the Cyclones missing some crucial plays. Aidan Prendergast passed the ball to Buglione and it looked like an opportunity would pass South Side again. After a few shoves, Buglione remained on point, scoring with a gently kicked ball from the goalie’s right-hand side.
“I think we were able to get many of the 50-50 balls and that allowed us to play our game,” defender Sean Hurwitz said. “We knew who their attackers were . . . We did a good job taking away their threats and it allowed our threats to come out.”
The Cyclones started the second half just as determined. With a few fast-moving plays, Reis ended up with the ball, putting it in just a little off the center.
“The ball just came to me at the top of the box and I knew I had to hit it,” Reis said. “I didn’t think it was going in but you can’t hold your head down.”
South Side (4-0-1) is keeping its head high and looking forward to the playoffs, especially after losing in the first-round last season.