There is little doubt that Mattituck High School is the team to beat in the New York State Class B boys high school soccer tournament.
A day after assuming the top-ranking among Class B schools, the Tuckers went out and demonstrated why they deserved that honor, earning a 4-1 triumph over Wheatley to win the Long Island championship at Adelphi University in Garden City Tuesday.
The Tuckers (16-2) last captured the L.I. crown in 2012.
Midfielder-forward Kaan Ilgin scored twice and set up a third goal in the first half at Motamed Field. Paul Hayes and Walter Jacob also scored goals.
The five-time defending Suffolk County champion Tuckers will meet the winner of fifth-ranked Rye Neck (Section I; 12-5-3) and No. 9 Highland (Section IX; 11-7) in the Southeast Regional at Diamond in the Pines in Coram at 4 p.m. Saturday. The winner advances to the state final four in Middletown Nov. 15.
Hayes headed in an Ilgin corner kick only 2:41 into the match to lift the Tuckers to a 1-0 advantage, before Wheatley 4-8-5), the Nassau County champion, equalized on Joey Dinetz’s penalty kick. The set piece was set up after a ball in the penalty area bounced off the hand of Mattituck defender Erik Schwartz in the penalty area and Dinetz converted against senior goalkeeper Ben Knowles at 5:39.
After taking a while to find themselves, the Tuckers dominated the rest of the half and Ilgin made the possession and shots count, striking twice within three minutes to turn the game.
First, Ilgin ran onto a deflected pass and beat senior center back Brendan Doberty before depositing the ball into the lower left corner for a 2-1 Mattituck lead at 23:40. He sprinted onto a Kevin Williams feed and this time overcame Doberty, who was leaning on him and Joe Cucinella for a 3-1 margin at 26:18.
Ilgin almost made it a first-half hat-trick, but he was denied by freshman goalkeeper Zach Jacobs on a breakaway at the halftime buzzer.
Jacob, overlapping from his left back position, tallied the final goal 1:57 into the second half.
Jacobs, Wheatley’s goalkeeper, was outstanding, stopping several close-range attempts and finishing with 13 saves.
Wheatley, which defeated Oyster Bay for the Nassau title, entered the game as the 19th ranked Class B side in the state.