'Birn' to be wild: Birns caps HHHE comeback
Kyle Birns scored the game-winning goal in the 73rd minute of play as Half Hollow Hills East completed a thrilling come-from-behind 2-1 boys soccer victory over Commack.
With the game knotted at one goal apiece late in the second half, Birns entered the box and fired two point-blank shots on Commack goaltender Joe Brandofino, to which the keeper was up to task.
However Birns got yet another rebound, fired a shot which went off the post and back to Brandofino who couldn't control the ball and found its way over the goal line to give Half Hollow Hills East the 2-1 lead and the eventual victory.
The win gives Half Hollow Hills East a 2-0 record on the early 2012 season, while Commack falls to an even 1-1.
Commack would open up the scoring and put on the majority of the offensive pressure in the first 20 minutes of the half.
Commack's Doug Castellano scored the opening tally just over ten minutes into the first half, taking a cross field feed from Chris Bowen and one-timing the pass past Thunderbirds goaltender Will Slattery for the 1-0 lead.
Hills East would not be without its chances in the first half (four shots) but Brandofino was up to the task.
The Thunderbirds leading goal scorer Tyler Kirschner had Hills East's best chance at the 38-minute mark, breaking in a firing a right-footer towards the cage. However Brandofino was one step ahead, making a diving left handed save to give the Cougars a 1-0 halftime lead.
The lead would not be safe however as Kirschner would finally cash in.
With a deep ball sent into the Commack zone, Brandofino had trouble handling the bouncer with Jose Penganos putting pressure on. With the Commack keeper out of position, Hills East sent constant kicks flying to the net which were blocked by Cougar defenders, however Kirscher got his foot on the ball and trickled it over the goal line to equalize the game at one goal apiece.
Chris Bowden put a lot of leg on a centering pass by Taner Celebi in the 63rd minute but sailed the shot wide of the Hills East net, failing to break the tie.
The miss would prove to be crucial as Birns would give the Thunderbirds a 2-1 lead and eventual victory ten minutes later.