Even before a ball was kicked at Scraggy Hill Field in Port Jefferson Tuesday afternoon, Mattituck High School girls soccer coach Rafael Morais knew his team could be in for a long afternoon.
Not only is Port Jefferson the defending state Class C champion, but it is loaded again.
Morais also knew a thing or two about the Royals because he said he had coached several players in travel soccer in Port Jefferson and Mount Sinai. So when the Royals recorded a 6-1 victory over the Tuckers in a Suffolk County League VII game, Morais wasn’t surprised at all.
“They’ve been solid for a long time,” he said. “I know half of the team. They have a good team. They have a roster of 15 players and 15 solid players. So it doesn’t matter who the coach puts in. It’s going to get the job done and today they got the job done.”
Brittney Fazin led the way with two goals. Senior forwards Clare O’Connor and Jillian Colucci, named to Newsday’s 50 girls soccer players to watch, added a goal each. Katie Connolly and Hailey Hearney also scored.
Connolly’s header off a right-wing cross lifted the Royals (5-1, 5-0) into a 1-0 lead with 23 minutes, 52 seconds remaining in the opening half. Tuckers central midfielder Catherine Hayes equalized, putting in a Lily Colins corner kick past goalkeeper Brianna Scarda with 12:03 left.
The deadlock was short-lived as Fazin struck twice within 1:59 to give Port Jefferson a 3-1 advantage it never relinquished.
The Tuckers (4-3, 3-2) pushed forward in the second half, but could not solve Scarda. O’Connor (14:38 to go), Hearney (6:36 remaining) and Colucci (1:13) finished up the scoring.
Since suffering a 3-2 non-league loss to Newfield in their season opener, the Royals have been on a tear through the league. Their lucky and favorite number seems to be six while they have left some Class B schools in the dust.
They have rolled over Babylon, 6-2, Smithtown Christian (the lone Class C side), 4-0, Center Moriches, 6-2, Bishop McGann-Mercy, 6-2, and now Mattituck.
They are the team to beat in League VII.
“For sure. They were state champs last year,” junior co-captain Chelsea Marlborough said. “They’re a good team. You can’t deny it. They have great players. They work well together. It’s hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t want to work hard. We didn’t do that today.”
It was a tough end to the game for Morais, who was red carded by a referee for criticizing the game official.
If the card is upheld, Mattituck’s first-year coach could be suspended for Wednesday’s home game against Mercy.