For the fourth time in five years, Hewlett’s boys’ soccer team has earned at least a share of a conference title. The Bulldogs dusted themselves off from a four-game winless streak to beat visiting Great Neck North, 1-0, last Monday afternoon in the Conference A-V finale to finish in a first-place tie with Glen Cove.
Junior Luis Campos scored his team-leading seventh goal of the year with 29:41 remaining as Hewlett (6-3-3) tasted victory for the first time since Oct. 9 and clinched a first-round home game in the Nassau Class A playoffs this Saturday against an opponent to be determined. Senior goalkeeper Ronie Morales posted his fourth shutout, making six saves in the process.
“We got pretty banged up, but we hung in there,” said coach Nick Lacetera, who saw Matt Isaac (ankle), Julian Benitez (head laceration) and Andrew Regen-Tuero (ankle) all suffer significant injuries in the win. “It’s been a while since things went our way,” he added. “Our offense kind of deserted us in the second half of the year, but we scored today and our defense did a great job.”
Campos’ goal, a left-footed blast from 15 yards out that caromed into the net off the far post, was only the second tally for the Bulldogs in the last five games. “It was a typical goal for him,” Lacetera said. “He’s so dangerous with the ball. There are times we don’t move around like we should because we’re waiting for him to make things happen.”
The Blazers, who beat the Bulldogs 2-0 last Saturday and needed a win to secure the conference title outright, dialed up the pressure over the last 15 minutes but couldn’t get the ball past Morales. Hewlett’s work in the back, led by juniors Kevin Martinez, Spencer Feuer and Jimmy Anderson, as well as senior Cesar Florez, was solid throughout.
“Our defense has been steady, and Ronie makes good decisions in net,” Lacetera said. “Their first goal Saturday came off a header, and we had Kevin mark the kid [Alec Ludwig] who scored and he contained him today.”