Typically a center defender, Southold’s Sean O’Donnell rarely ventured across the soccer field’s midfield line.
This summer, during the Town of Brookhaven Summer League, he’s gotten an opportunity to play up top, putting him in the thick of all the scoring action. He’s made the most of a new role.
With his team trailing by two goals in the second half of a first-round playoff game against Harborfields Friday night, O’Donnell helped spark the First Settlers to three straight goals and a 3-2 double-overtime victory at the Patchogue-Medford Youth Fields.
O’Donnell assisted on the first goal and scored the second two.
He ended the game in sudden death of the second five-minute overtime, burying a shot from straightaway after the Tornadoes lost possession in their own end.
An enthused O’Donnell screamed ‘Ohh, baby!” as he sprinted back toward his teammates after the winning goal.
“It’s pretty much all a blur,” O’Donnell said afterward. “I’m not one for scoring many goals.”
O’Donnell said he saw a defender hesitate as he got the ball.
“I knew I was just going to barrel through him as best I could,” he said.
Southold coach Andrew Sadowski said this summer has been an opportunity for the seniors to step up and take the team under their wings.
“One of them said, ‘This is not my last summer league game of my career,’ and guess who scores the goal?” Sadowski said.
O’Donnell had plenty of reason to feel jubilant after the winning goal. Earlier in the game, with his team down 2-0, O’Donnell let some frustrations get the better of him when he said something to a Harborfields spectator who was giving him a hard time.
Sadowski briefly took him out of the game to tell him never to talk to a spectator during a game. O’Donnell also apoligized to Harborfields’ coach, who was unaware anything had happened.
“A parent got in my head a little bit,” O’Donnell said. “In the moment being down 2-0, it kind of gets to you. Coach knows when to control his players and took me out.”
O’Donnell and his teammates got the last laugh.
The First Settlers (3-5-1) got on the board in the second half when Benjamin Glew deflected a pass from O’Donnell into the goal. With about seven minutes left in the game, O’Donnell controlled a touch pass from Drew Sacher and drilled the ball into the back of the net for the equalizer.
“I thought the first half we didn’t play very well,” Sadowski said. “The second half we completely changed the way we were playing. We fought our way back one goal at a time. The first half of overtime I thought we played superb.”
In the second overtime period, O’Donnell was determined to score, Sadowski said.
“He’s got the skill, there’s no question about that,” he said. “It was just determination to fight and fight.”
Harborfields was a man short in overtime after one of its players got hit with a second yellow card late in the second half.
Southold will play again Monday against Center Moriches at Diamond in the Pines.
Mattituck shuts out Smithtown Christian
In the first game at Patchogue-Medford Youth Fields, the Mattituck Tuckers won 4-0 against Smithtown Christian in a first-round playoff game. The Tuckers scored all four goals in the second half.
The Tuckers (6-1-2) will play Miller Place Monday at the Wedge in Mount Sinai.
Oscar Reyes scored twice for Mattituck, the second after a nice touch pass from Daniel Salice.
Mattituck broke a scoreless tie early in the second half. The Tuckers were awarded a penalty kick after a player got dragged down in the box. Kevin Williams took the shot for Mattituck and ripped the ball off the left post. The ball richoched back out and Walter Jacob alertly played the ball. He fired a shot inside the right post and past a diving goalkeeper, who was unable to recover in time.
Williams added a goal of his own shortly after to put Mattituck ahead 2-0.
The Tuckers have allowed only six goals during the summer league, second fewest in the league behind Shoreham-Wading River (two).