It was a weekend that had the Massapequa soccer community buzzing as two of its U-15 teams defeated highly ranked opponents to advance in the NY Cup tournament.
On the boys side, the Massapequa Warriors defeated Lake Grove/Newfield Dynamite 3-2 on Sunday, May 20, at John Burns Park in Massapequa. Earlier that same day on the girls side, the Massapequa Fury topped SUSA 03 NPL 1-0 at Massapequa’s Field of Dreams.
For the Warriors, the win over Lake Grove — ranked by Got Soccer #1 in New York East and #3 nationally — allows them to advance to the NY Cup semi-finals where they will face Manhattan Fury on June 3.
In the match at Burns Park, Massapequa goalkeeper Vasilis Ganasoulis made several big saves that included a diving stop early in the second half. Striker Jack O’Boyle scored the Warriors’ first and third goals sandwiched around a successful penalty kick by midfielder Thomas O’Neill.
O’Boyle’s second goal of the game, which would ultimately prove to be the game-winner, came with about four minutes remaining in the second half. Midfielder Kevin Johnson found O’Boyle with a well-weighted ball played over the Lake Grove defense and O’Boyle did the rest finding the back of the net.
For the Fury, their 1-0 win over SUSA Academy’s 2003 side — which is ranked #1 in New York East and #1 nationally by Got Soccer — offered a measure of revenge. Just a week earlier on the same field, SUSA defeated their counterparts from Massapequa 7-2 in NPL play.
The first half was a chess match with the Fury absorbing pressure in the middle third of the pitch. Able to create only a handful of good chances on the counter-attack, Massapequa struggled to maintain consistent possession in SUSA’s half of the pitch.
The second half started with both teams taking similar approaches to their play as the Fury remained focused on team shape and sat deep on defense, allowing SUSA only long-range chances at goal. Massapequa had a few chances through its counter-attack, but neither team could break the scoreless draw.
The match’s key moment came after a SUSA foul gave the Fury a set-piece some 35 yards out. Julia Lawless stepped up and launched a tremendous strike that found the back of the net over the outstretched hand of SUSA’s keeper. Massapequa was able to see out the rest of the match and earned a trip to the NY Cup Finals on June 10. They await the winner of the Locust Valley/Bayville Chelsea and Manhattan Charge match that is scheduled for June 2.
Massapequa coach Paul Bigilin praised his team and noted that the consistent training and multiple competitions throughout the years has the team peaking as it heads to the NY Cup finals and its pursuit of a second consecutive NY State Open Cup title.
“This is just the beginning of our three-year blueprint for these girls to help prepare them as people and as players for the next level, to give them the opportunity and the choice of pursuing the game as a collegiate student-athlete,” he said.
Information for this story provided by the Massapequa Soccer Club.
Below: Jack O’Boyle’s game-winning goal.