South Side (10-3-3 overall) controlled the tempo for much of the second half, but Smith stood tall in the West Hempstead (8-5-1) cage to keep it a two-goal game. The Rams missed a penalty kick with six minutes remaining but trimmed the deficit in half with two minutes to go. Senior goalkeeper Thomas Germano, who hadn’t allowed a shot past him in almost two weeks, made three saves.
On paper, the winner of the 8-9 game would travel to face the No. 1 seed in the quarterfinals, but that won’t be the case because No. 16 Roslyn upset top-seeded Lawrence, 1-0, in the first round. So the Cyclones will host the Bulldogs, their conference rival, as soon as weather permits. The winner will advance to the semifinals this Saturday evening at 5:30 p.m. at Adelphi University.
“We know Roslyn well and they know us well,” Paul said. “There are no mental advantages. They play a 4-3-3, which is a different system than ours so there’s always some adjusting to do. I’m expecting a tight game.”
South Side had the upper hand on Roslyn during the regular season. The teams battled to a 1-1 tie on Oct. 1, but the Cyclones captured the rematch, 1-0, 18 days later at home on a goal by senior Mark Brady.