A two-goal first half helped propel the No. 8 South Side Cyclones boys soccer team past the No. 16 Roslyn Bulldogs by a 2-1 final score and into the Nassau County Class A semifinals.
After what South Side head coach Fred Paul described as a "sloppy" first 10 minutes, the Cyclones settled down and began to control the ball.
The control eventually led to a cross from the right side off the foot of Alessandro Pugliese and on to the head of freshman Matthew DiLuccio, who buried the ball into the right side of the new for his first career varsity goal.
Not long after DiLuccio's goal, forward Kyle Morrissey found the ball inside of the 18-yard box. Morrissey fired a left-footed shot that beat the Roslyn goalkeeper to the right side of the net for a 2-0 lead.
"We just kept putting the pressure on them," Paul said after the win. "I thought we settled into our game after about 10 minutes ... we just played well."
The Cyclones controlled the pace in the second half with quick passing and smart movement, but Roslyn was able to get a goal back with nine minutes remaining in the game.
South Side goalkeeper Thomas Germano, who finished with five saves, went up for a loose ball but was taken out by a Roslyn player. The ball fell loose into the box before it was buried into an open net and South Side's lead was cut to 2-1.
The Cyclones got back to their possession game in the final minutes and ran the clock out for the win.
"We gave up a goal there, which I thought was a foul on our keeper, but I was proud of our boys," Paul said. "They played hard today."
"Everyone understand their role and we went out and did what we had to do," he added.
Just 500 feet away and 30 minutes earlier at Skelos Field's south field, the Lady Cyclones soccer team advanced to the same Class A semis with a 5-0 win over Wantagh.
The South Side boys will take on No. 4 Hewlett Saturday at noon at Adelphi University.
Photos courtesy of Thomas McElroy.