2011 Top Sports Story No. 10: Scoggin’s heroics can’t hold off Wheatley

GARRET MEADE FILE PHOTO | Mattituck senior goalkeeper Austin Scoggin's best game for the Tuckers may have been his last one.

Austin Scoggin’s final game for the Mattituck High School boys soccer team may have been his best. The senior goalkeeper stopped everything Wheatley kicked his way — except for one shot. That’s what made it such a bittersweet farewell for Scoggin.

Wheatley dominated possession, putting its skill and speed to good use. The Wildcats chased after every ball, allowed the Tuckers little in the way of possession, and launched one shot after another, expending an incredible amount of energy in the Long Island Class B final at Diamond in the Pines in Coram.

Yet, one person was standing in its way of an easy victory: Scoggin.

Scoggin’s inspired play denied Wheatley time and again. He made 11 saves, several of the sensational variety, in addition to grabbing five crosses and clearing another two.

“To be honest, I just didn’t want to go home,” Scoggin said. “I played my heart out. I didn’t want this to be my last game for Mattituck.”

Wheatley coach Steve Cadet, a former Adelphi University player, called it “one of the best performances I’ve ever seen by a player.”

“He was unreal today,” marveled Wheatley senior forward Jonathan Kowalczyk, who said he had never faced a goalie who played that well before.

The Nassau County champions bombarded Mattituck by a 35-4 shot count and earned nine of the game’s 11 corner kicks. Those numbers didn’t lie, either.

Mattituck took the game to sudden-victory overtime where the odds finally caught up with the Tuckers. Kowalczyk, who has a knack for scoring big goals, did so again. His 10th goal of the year in the second overtime period put an end to 95 minutes 47 seconds of spellbinding soccer, bringing Wheatley a well-deserved 1-0 triumph. It was Wheatley’s first Long Island championship since 2004.

Mattituck players collapsed on the field as if they had been shot.

“I don’t know what to say, really,” Scoggin told reporters afterward. “I’m just in shock.”

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