KNIGHTS 2, PORTERS 1
Greenport forward Bayron Rivas was on the doorstep of the Smithtown Christian goal, with a prime scoring opportunity, only to see it snuffed out by goalkeeper George Flores. Later in the first half of the high school boys soccer game, Greenport defender Alex Perez cleared a ball off the goal line, only to see it sail just beyond the top of the penalty area, where Smithtown Christian midfielder Nikita Grob picked it out of the air with a spectacular left-footed volley that he drilled into the net for a 1-0 lead.
That dramatic contrast between a seemingly sure goal denied and a goal out of nowhere, Greenport coach Chris Golden said, tells the story of the Porters’ season.
The final home game of the Porters’ difficult season on Friday night featured three brilliant goals worthy of a highlight reel. Unfortunately for the Porters, two of them belonged to Smithtown Christian.
An expertly taken free kick by Timothy Voisich found the left side of the net in the 62nd minute, giving Smithtown Christian a 2-0 lead on the way to a 2-1 triumph at Greenport High School’s Dorrie Jackson Memorial Field. It was the fourth straight loss for the Porters (2-13, 2-9 in Suffolk County League VIII).
A little over two minutes after that goal, Omar Machado cranked in a beauty himself, nailing a shot in off the far right goal post.
Machado, a senior midfielder, twice came close to equalizing. He tipped a shot that the onrushing Flores got a piece of, forcing a corner kick in the 68th minute. Then, with an open goal facing him in the 72nd minute, Machado shot high.
Smithtown Christian (7-3-1, 7-2-1) outshot Greenport, 17-8, but the Porters had good scoring chances. One of the best came when Rivas charged in on goal, with only Flores to beat in the 52nd minute. Flores, however, managed to make enough contact with the ball to deflect it off the crossbar before collecting the rebound in his arms.
The Porters lost one of their players when Eduardo Sanchez landed hard on his back after challenging for a head ball four minutes into the match. The sophomore midfielder was kept out of the remainder of the game as a precautionary measure.
Greenport defender Justin Bracken was assigned the task of marking arguably Smithtown Christian’s most dangerous player, Charles Bellini, and did a commendable job. Bellini took four shots, all of which went wide of the mark.
It was Senior Night, and before the game, the Porters’ five seniors — Angel Colon, Niklas Droskoski, Robert Nicholas, Alex Perez and Machado — were honored. After each of them was announced, they walked to the middle of the field, where the Greenport athletic director, Jim Caliendo, handed them flowers.