As a bar-back for a catering hall, Witman Hernandez works long hours on the weekends. On Sunday night, for example, he said he got home at about midnight. He slept only five hours because he had to get up for school Monday morning.
He was understandably tired throughout the day. That is, until the junior forward got on the soccer field.
Hernandez had two goals and an assist Monday to lead host Whitman over Half Hollow Hills East, 3-1, in a pivotal League II game.
"Witman works some insane hours," midfielder Michael Lorello said. "For him to have the energy that he has is just unbelievable. I know I couldn't do it."
Whitman (9-3-1) moved into first place in League II with one game left. In a preseason coaches' poll, the Wildcats were predicted to finish sixth out of eight teams.
"Seeing that ranking just made us so much more motivated to win," said Lorello, who scored Whitman's third goal from close range with 24 minutes left.
Samuel Steinberg tied it at 1 for Hills East (8-4-1) off a rebound with 22 minutes left in the first half.
Then Hernandez, who scored the game's first goal, made the play of the game.
With 50 seconds left in the first half, Hernandez received a pretty pass from Fabrizio Chamorro. Hernandez dribbled through one defender, then beat another by changing direction to his right, going back to his left and then crossing over back to his right before scoring on a blast from 20 yards.
"He looked like a professional out there," said senior Derick Ramos, who led a stout defensive unit. "That was unbelievable."
For Hernandez, it's all in a day's work.
"I just love soccer," said Hernandez, who leads League II with 17 goals. "When I play soccer, I give everything I have."