TUCKERS 7, MONARCHS 4
This high school boys soccer game truly was a tale of two halves. While the first half was about Mattituck excellence, the second half featured Bishop McGann-Mercy resilience.
And, as if that wasn’t enough to digest, how about this? There were 11 goals to kick around.
A wild game that started with Mattituck shooting out to a 6-0 halftime lead, ended up as a 7-4 final thanks to some second-half fight put up by McGann-Mercy on Tuesday.
Mattituck’s offense hummed in the first half as the Tuckers zipped passes around the slick field at Harold T. Murray Memorial Field in Riverhead. At halftime, Mattituck coach Mat Litchhult made wholesale changes, pulling out starters to give reserve players some playing time.
Then a goal by McGann-Mercy’s Bereket Watts was followed by Alexander Frabizio’s first career hat trick for the Monarchs. All three of Frabizio’s goals came within 13 minutes of each other.
That, in turn, prompted Litchhult to send some of his top players back into the game. So, Kaan Ilgin, Walter Jacob, Mario Arreola, Paul Hayes, Kevin Williams and Ben Knowles found themselves back on the field to close out the win.
An indication of how the Suffolk County League VII game changed could be seen in the statistics. In the first half, the Tuckers held a 19-0 shots advantage; in the second half, the shots totals were even at 8-8.
As has been Mattituck’s way this season, the Tuckers (6-2, 5-1) received balanced scoring, with seven goals from seven players.
James Hayes featured in the first two goals, arguably the nicest of the game. After receiving a ball from Jacob, James Hayes curled a right-footed shot that turned inside the far right goal post, leaving goalkeeper Louis Arresta with no chance. Two minutes later, James Hayes assisted on a fine clinical finish by Arreola, who took a game-high seven shots.
First-half goals followed by Joe Tardif, Matt Krauza, Williams and Ilgin, giving the Tuckers a lead that looked safe. A second-half goal by Matt Carter made it 7-2.
Ilgin, Mattituck’s star forward, didn’t start because of what Litchhult said was a “team rules” matter. But the senior entered the contest in the 15th minute and made an almost immediate impact with his silky smooth moves, setting up the Williams goal at 26:38 before scoring himself at 32:35. Ilgin took 5 shots, completed 7 of 8 passes and had 23 touches.
The Monarchs, who only fielded a junior varsity team last year, dropped to 1-5, 1-5.