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East Meadow fine with underdog role

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East Meadow boys’ soccer coach Bryan Horrmann is fine with the Jets’ identity of an underdog after they failed to qualify for the Nassau Class AA playoffs in 2019.

“We have 10 days to develop the chemistry and consistency we want,” Horrmann said. “Every team is in the same boat. So far, I’m happy with the results we’re getting. There’s been one game we didn’t show our true selves. We weren’t as aggressive as we wanted and needed to be.”

Through three games, East Meadow experienced every possible result. They beat Westbury, 2-1, dropped a 2-0 decision at Baldwin, and battled Freeport to a 2-2 draw. The Jets need to finish first or second in the four-team conference or do no worse than .500 over the 10 conference games to get into the playoffs.

Senior midfielder/forward Eric Velasquez and senior defender Ruben Teixeira are the team’s returning award-winners. Velasquez led the Jets in goals as a junior and scored in his first appearance this season against Freeport. Teixeira is a versatile player who’ll primarily work at center-back along with fellow senior captain Darius Lugo. “We count on Ruben and Darius to control the tempo,” Horrmann said.

Senior midfielder Lucas Nicoulaou is another captain and leader. He’s strong in the air and a steady and skillful two-way player, Horrmann noted. Junior Joustin Hernandez, who had a goal and an assist in the win over Westbury, is an important piece in the middle.

Up front, sophomore Louis Velasquez is a quick hard-working lefty playmaker who delivers quality crossing passes. He found the back of the net against Westbury and Freeport.

East Meadow’s girls’ soccer team registered a 3-0 victory over Baldwin on March 23 for its second win in five games. Senior center-midfielder Emma Terino continued to play at a high level and scored twice, while freshman Myrdiva Jean-Pierre added a goal. Eighth-grader goalkeeper Jennah Farooki earned the shutout.

Terino, who will play lacrosse at the college level, is handling most of the set pieces and is the team’s best all-around athlete, coach Adam Hananel said. She’s a captain along with senior center-back Scarlett Espinosa. Both of them scored in a 3-2 victory over Farmingdale.

Junior Katherine Marcus is a crafty midfielder who sparks the Jets in transition. She has deceptive speed, Hananel said, and covers a lot of ground. She also takes corners.

Leading the attack is senior Myla McLeod, one of the team’s leading scorers for several years, Jean-Pierre, and eighth-grader Casey Henry. McLeod had a goal and an assist against Farmingdale.