The North Shore Vikings (8-2-1 overall, 6-2 in Conference A3) boys’ soccer team split its first four games, tying once in a non-league game with Glen Cove on Sept. 6 and losing to Lawrence in conference action 10 days later.
The Vikings would not lose again until Oct. 10, and rattled off five straight wins in that period.
The winning streak started with a 4-1 win over A3 foe Floral Park. “They are a very good team,” North Shore coach Mike Bishop said. “They always contest for the playoffs, and it was good to grab a win from them.”
Nick Fraser and Devon Seneca both totaled two points in the win, nabbing a goal and an assist each. Christian O’Hara scored two goals and Nicholas Suraci collected an assist.
North Shore’s second win of its five-game streak came at home in a 2-0 shutout of Valley Stream South, where Seneca netted a pair and goalkeeper Varick Fleischmann made three saves in his first of three clean-sheets in a row. The Vikings’ next two wins were shutouts against Friends Academy and Plainedge. North Shore’s last win in it’s winning streak came in a 4-1 win over Malverne/East Rockaway.
Sophomore Seneca, the team’s goal-scoring leader, scored seven times in the team’s midseason five-game win streak. Perhaps the most impressive part, though, is that he has been the central focus of the opposing team’s defense nearly every time he stepped on to the pitch.
“You could say the word is out on him,” Bishop said. “He’s been doubled and tripled a lot this season, and although he’s just a sophomore, he could play with just about anyone.”
North Shore’s win streak was snapped in a 1-0 loss on the road to Bethpage, where Louis Lavacca scored the lone goal for the home team and Vikings keeper Fleischmann stayed busy, having to make eight saves on the day.
“They got an early goal and played very defensive the rest of the game,” Bishop said. “They started mostly seniors, and we have a bit of a younger team, so they were bigger and played physical and were able to keep us from tying it up.”
Bishop went on to say that his young team still goes through some “growing pains” from time to time, but players like Fraser and O’Hara have made some big strides in adjusting to the pace of the game.
North Shore will host its final two games on Oct. 15 and Oct. 17 as it faces Wantagh and Mineola. Wantagh, which has to win out in order to make the playoffs, will be desperate. “They might be seeing that Bethpage result and think we are vulnerable,” Bishop said.
Bishop also has his eyes set on Mineola, who boast a 6-0-1 Conference A3 record. “They’re going to put us under a lot of pressure,” Bishop said. “There aren’t going to be as many opportunities as usual, so we have to take advantage of the ones we do get.”
The Nassau Class A playoffs begin Oct. 23.