YORKTOWN - Kevin Interlicchio always possessed the ability. It was only a matter of time before the ambitious junior attackman picked up an inch or two for extra leverage along with a pound or two for extra strength.
He's grown, and so has his game.
Despite the individual effort, it wasn't a one-man show.
Yorktown (3-0) came in ranked 18th, and probably didn't play a clean game, but the 'Huskers covered up a lot of mistakes with collective hustle.
"It's nice to know this can happen if you put in the work," midfielder John Ranagan said. "That was not our best I.Q. game, but everybody was playing hard and when you are playing hard, good things usually happen."
The intensity level was up on both sides.
Interlicchio got things started almost two minutes in by spinning off a defender and finishing. He has plenty of balance to go with the added muscle.
St. Anthony's came back with three straight to quiet the home crowd.
Ranagan restored confidence with a blast from 18 yards out, and then Interlicchio exploited a man-up advantage to make it 3-3. Ranagan capped the run giving the Huskers a 4-3 lead at the end of the first quarter. It went back and forth until Tom Casey flipped in a loose ball with 7:53 to go in the opening half. Interlicchio sandwiched his next two goals around Ty Schuldt's rip, making it 8-5 at the half.
"My teammates are getting me the ball and I'm finding space," said Interlicchio, who has 19 goals this season. "I'm just playing."
Interlicchio scored in transition 11 seconds into the second half to provide more separation.
"He's one of the better kids I've ever covered," Friars long pole defender Michael Keane said. "He's predominately a lefty, but he's strong going right. He could start for any team on Long Island."
St. Anthony's began to rally and got within 9-7 with 8:08 to go in the quarter, but Casey netted another ball off the ground, then Interlicchio tacked on a couple more. There was some good defense in between the momentum breakers.
The last gasp came when Tom Shreiber got the Friars within 12-9 on with 6:34 left. A little more effort at the defensive end took time off the clock, then Interlicchio managed to slip in five minutes later to score his eighth goal of the game.
"We showed if we play to our potential we can beat any team out there," Yorktown goalie Michael Bonitatibus said. "The fact that we beat them without playing a perfect game is extraordinary."