21 years in making: Hicksville topped Class AA
The celebration after winning the Long Island Class AA championship was a little more exuberant for the Hicksville boys soccer team. Of course, it meant a trip to the state semifinals, but the significance of beating Brentwood, 2-0, was extra special for the Comets.
Hicksville lost to Brentwood in the same game two years ago, 3-0. The win also made Hicksville believe it would capture the state championship since Brentwood had made a trip to the states in five of the previous six seasons, including two state championships.
Hicksville did just that by beating Webster Schroeder, 1-0, to win the state Class AA championship. It was the first title since 1979 for the Comets.
"Everyone thought they would win," senior defender Ian Gallagher said of Brentwood. "They have been on top for so many years."
Said Lucas Munoz: "The name Brentwood is well known. Beating them was such a big deal to us. We knew from there we had a great chance."
Hicksville also beat Massapequa, one of the powerhouse teams in Nassau for many years, in the county semifinals in double overtime. Not only did Hicksville achieve the ultimate goal, it went through some storied programs on Long Island.
"We wanted to play the best teams," Hicksville assistant coach Jack Fabrizio said. "We did that."
Hicksville (18-1-2) won the Nassau Class AA championship for the second time in three seasons. The Comets were undefeated going into the county semifinals last season before losing in penalty kicks.
"We thought we had the right pieces to make it here this year," Kyle Brennan said. "It was tough losing in the county semifinals last year. It made us want it more than we did. That losing helped us for this year."
The Comets were a tough matchup for the opposition. There was no key player to focus on. They received contributions from everyone. Nine players scored in six postseason games.
The Comets had five shutouts in six postseason games. They had a lot of height, giving them an advantage on balls in the air and in the box.
Marcos Bonilla, Tom Geneva, Gallagher and Brennan played great defense in front of goalkeeper Brian McPartland. Munoz scored the goal in the state final, one day after his birthday. Christian Bonilla scored the goal against Massapequa.
Peter DiLorenzo had three goals and one assist, Kyle Poetzsch had four goals and one assist, and Jimmy Myers had one goal and two assists, including the one for the goal against Massapequa, in the postseason.
Pick any player on the field for the Comets and they contributed. Even they didn't know where the offense would come from.
"We thought we had a shot at the Long Island title," McPartland said. "Before the season, I didn't think we would be state champions.
"As we worked our way through the season, it started to become clear that we were the most dominant team in the state beating the teams we played and we proved it."