Despite facing a two-goal deficit late in the first half, Stepinac rallied to beat rival Iona Prep 3-2 at home on Wednesday. Manny Gonzalez scored the winner with about nine minutes remaining in regulation.
“We had a nice ball through to Manny Gonzalez, who is our sole striker,” Stepinac coach Craig Sidley said. “The ball was put to him by Jeff Carreira, he ran on and finished. That’s what a good striker does.”
The Gaels had jumped out to a 2-0 lead on a pair of goals from Christian Knapp, but the Crusaders gained some momentum on Brendan Monahan’s direct goal on a free kick near the end of the first half.
“At halftime I said, ‘Guys, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be winning this game,’ ” Sidley said. “ ‘Keep playing the way you’ve been playing, and if you continue to do the right things, we should win this game.’ ”
Mike Murphy tied the game score with an unassisted goal about 15 minutes into the second half, and then Gonzalez provided the final blow.
“There was some strong fighting for possession in the midfield,” Sidley said. “I really feel that a big part of why were able to come out on top was because of our conditioning, which we worked on all preseason.”
Best of the rest: Lakeland’s Edwin Hernandez and Brandon Dias each scored twice in the Hornets’ 6-2 win at Panas. … In his first varsity game, Haldane’s Seth Warren scored in a 2-1 win at home against Poughkeepsie.