In the seconds after Southampton won its first county championship Saturday, Jesse Scanlon wrapped Timmy Alejo in a hug and posed a rhetorical question.
"Why are you a mind reader?" Scanlon asked.
It was his way of asking, "How did you know? How did you guess right every time?"
Alejo dove to his left and batted away Wyandanch's first attempt in penalty kicks. He dived to his left and corralled the second attempt. The left post deflected the third and final shot, but Alejo was right there.
It all added up to a 1-0 (3-0 in PKs) win for No. 1 Southampton over No. 3 Wyandanch in the Suffolk Class B boys soccer championship at Diamond in the Pines in Coram.
The Mariners (18-0) never thought they would need penalty kicks to defeat a Wyandanch team they beat 5-1 and 3-0 in two regular-season meetings. They have scored a school-record 90 goals this year, just three shy of second place in Suffolk history, according to coach David Riley.
But Riley made his team practice penalty kicks in the two weeks leading up to this game, just in case.
"We were all like, 'We're not going to have to do this,' " said Scanlon, who leads Suffolk with 34 goals. "It doesn't matter. He was completely right."
In practice, Scanlon said Alejo has had days where "he'll save literally everybody's penalty. It's ridiculous."
"Timmy's been on fire," Riley said.
So after Scanlon faked Wyandanch's keeper into diving right and finished in the bottom left corner to open penalty kicks, Alejo knew he could make the necessary stops to kick off Southampton's celebration.
"I look at where they look first," said Alejo, who made two saves in regulation and overtime. "I know they're faking because they look different ways, but I've just got to stick with my guts to where it's going to go and I dove that way. Luckily it went that way."
Gianluca Santacruz and Ryan Vasquez converted the second and third penalty kicks.
Wyandanch, which last made the playoffs in 2009, did not bow down to the offensively superior Mariners. Choscov Jean chased Scanlon all over the field, rarely giving him the space to create with the ball on his foot. Scanlon still had a handful of opportunities off corner kicks, but he could not convert in 110 minutes of regulation and overtime.
"[Wyandanch] should be proud," Riley said. "Those that follow soccer have to tip their hat to Wyandanch as well today."
But as Scanlon put it, Southampton outlasted the Warriors (8-8-1). Carle Place, the Nassau champion, is up next, on Tuesday.
"Our goal was to win counties and it happened," Alejo said, "so it's just a lot of emotions right now."