PURCHASE It’s easy for goalkeepers to remember the highlight reel saves that they make, but most hope that the ones that get by will quickly be forgotten.
Yorktown junior Giuliano Santucci never forgets.
“When I let up a goal, I dream about that goal over and over again,” he said. “It repeats, so I hate letting up goals.”
Santucci won’t be having any nightmares tonight. He’s been a key piece for the Huskers this season, and on Thursday, he kept a clean sheet to lead them to a 1-0 upset win over No. 3 Scarsdale in a Class AA semifinal at Purchase College.
The seventh-seeded Huskers will play at No. 1 Arlington in the section final on Saturday at noon. They reached the Class A championship game last season and have now done the same in their first season as a Class AA team.
“It says a lot,” junior Adam Romanski said. “It shows that we’ve become a family, we’ve bonded and we all want it. We’re hungry.”
Romanski provided the lone goal less than one minute into the game. He headed in a volley from Enzo Sangiacomo and Santucci made the lead hold up.
He finished with seven saves, none bigger than a sprawling kick save on Fayez Merchant’s breakaway in the 63rd minute.
“Fayez is my teammate on New York Soccer Club and I know him well, so I knew where he was going to try to hit the ball,” Santucci said. “It stuck in my mind and I made the decision to save it with my foot. The second ball bounced in front and I just dove in front of it. I didn’t even care if he hit me in the head or I got a concussion. It didn’t matter. I just had to save the ball.”
Player of the game: Giuliano Santucci, Yorktown — After missing out on the Huskers’ run to the Class A final last season while playing for New York Soccer Club’s under-14 Academy team, Santucci made some difficult saves to preserve the shutout, particularly in the second half.
“The kid is brilliant,” Romanski said. “He had so many amazing saves to save the game.”
Turning point: Scarsdale was pushing hard for the equalizer throughout the game, but Santucci’s kick save on Merchant in the 63rd minute was the Raiders’ final quality chance.
Stat line: Yorktown (11-4-4) — Romanski scored on an assist from Sangiacomo and Santucci made seven saves. Scarsdale (15-3-1) — Hayden Carey made six saves.
Quotable: “It’s a great experience,” Santucci said. “I’ve been playing with my best friends and everyone in school comes out to watch. We have great support and it feels great to know that you have the whole town behind your back.”