Keven Veliz Rua scored off a cross by Julio Martinez with 1:51 remaining to give the Huntington High School varsity boys’ soccer team a 2-1 come from behind win at North Babylon.
The Blue Devils are 1-1 heading into Thursday afternoon’s home game against Smithtown East at 4 p.m. Huntington has an almost entirely new starting lineup and head coach John Pagano is still ironing out some wrinkles as he determines who should be at each position and which combination of players works best.
Huntington dropped the season opener to Smithtown West at home, 1-0. The Blue Devils were on defense most of the game and had only one prime opportunity to score, but they weren’t able to convert it.
Pagano believed that North Babylon would pose a stiff challenge and he was right. The two teams were evenly matched throughout the 80 minute battle. Neither could find the back of the net in the first half. The Bulldogs finally broke the logjam when they scored in the second to take a 1-0 lead.
Blue Devil sophomore Bryan Lizama’s first varsity career goal off an assist from Martinez knotted the score at 1-1 and set the stage from Velez Rua’s late game heroics. Huntington goalie Daniel Rodrigo recorded five saves to notch the win.
The Blue Devils are captained by Rodrigo and fellow seniors Roberto Contreras and Jose Flores. The roster also includes freshmen Justin Villatoro and Jerson Contreras; sophomores Dylan Hayden, Dante Salgado and Edwin Marroquin; juniors Enzo Pupillo, Kieran Husselbeck, Ian Husselbeck, Roman Borovica and Vincent Grassi; and seniors Enrrique Garcia, Jeison Blanco, Christian Avelar, Liam Lennon, Matt Lange and Max Rentsch.
Pagano is once again assisted by Woodhull Intermediate School teacher Jason Suarez.
Following Thursday’s game against Smithtown East, Huntington will play at home again on Saturday morning at 9 a.m. when it hosts Half Hollow Hills East at Blue Devil Stadium.