No. 9 Sports Story of the Year: So close to Middletown

12/24/2014 12:00 PM |
Sean Moran (5) pumps his fist after scoring in sudden-victory overtime to bring Southold a second straight county title. Joining in the celebration are, from left, Ryan DiGregorio, Walker Sutton and Shayne Johnson. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)

Sean Moran (5) pumps his fist after scoring in sudden-victory overtime to bring Southold a second straight county title. Joining in the celebration are, from left, Ryan DiGregorio, Noah Mina and Shayne Johnson. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

What Sean Moran described as an “out-of-body experience” were the moments immediately after his overtime goal brought Southold a 1-0 triumph over Pierson/Bridgehampton and a second straight Suffolk County Class C boys soccer championship.

When Moran’s sixth goal of the season, set up by Ryan DiGregorio, hit the net 14 minutes 18 seconds into sudden-victory overtime, he and the rest of the First Settlers raced toward their fans at Diamond in the Pines in Coram.

“They were screaming our names,” Moran said. “It was a magical moment.”

It was Southold’s 17th county title since 1978.

A week later, the First Settlers, sporting their traditional Mohawk haircuts for the playoffs, faced crushing disappointment in the Southeast Region Class C final on the same field. They fell short against Rhinebeck in a penalty-kick tiebreaker, 3-1, after having played to a 1-1 draw through 110 minutes.

The First Settlers (12-6) came within inches of going to Middletown for the state semifinals. Early in the first overtime period, Southold’s Anderson Garcia drove a blazing shot that goalkeeper Spencer Hutchins managed to deflect off the crossbar.

“I don’t think anyone on our team should feel unsuccessful after this result because … we are still county champs and made it here,” said Shayne Johnson, who led Southold with 15 goals this year. “We’re still a family basically. There’s still an upside to it.”

When asked afterward to sum up his team’s season, Southold coach Andrew Sadowski replied, “Short.”

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