The No. 1 seed got cut down by the No. 16 seed in the opening round of the Nassau Class A boys soccer playoffs last season, and Gavin Goodlad took the loss hard. The sour taste still lingers.
“I probably stay up most nights since then just thinking about that night,” the South Side senior striker said of the defeat on penalty kicks against Long Beach. “I would say that was the worst night of my life. I was heartbroken.”
Goodlad is driven by that loss. He’s one of four returning starters. Two scored Thursday in the first half, including Goodlad, who delivered a gorgeous goal from 18 yards out that stood up as the difference in a 2-1 road win over Lynbrook.
“Any sport, whether it’s basketball, football or soccer, when you get knocked out way, way too early, even though I give all the props to Long Beach, you’ve got that hunger to come back and not let that happen again,” said coach Pat Corvetti, whose team (8-2-1, 7-2) is a point behind first-place Long Beach in Nassau A Central.
A third returnee also played a large role in this game at Lynbrook North Middle School. Junior right back Ryan Walsh had to mark standout Sebastian Cuenca, who scored for the Owls (9-2-1, 6-2-1) on a penalty kick.
“It was my first time ever just, like, one-on-one marking someone, and I thought I did good,” Walsh said.
Cuenca wasn’t generally in his usual area because midfielder Carlo Pantano was out with a concussion.
“That forced me to have to take Sebi Cuenca and drop him deeper in the field instead of leaving him up where he’s more dangerous,” coach Josh Berlin said. “So the injury bug, I think, was part of it.”
Danny Walter gave the Cyclones a 1-0 edge off a cross from Tommy O’Keeffe.
Then Brian Hendry chipped a ball ahead to Goodlad. He found himself one-on-three but made some moves and beat Joe Patitucci, who kept Lynbrook in the game, making eight saves.
South Side dominated until Cuenca’s goal late in the half.
Lynbrook pressed for the tying goal, but Jack Phelan made two nice saves to help hold them off.
“We’re a second-half team,” Berlin said. “… But you can’t win if you don’t play 80 minutes.”