FIRST SETTLERS 6, PORTERS 1
School’s back in session.
That means it’s time for the students to learn — in and out of the classroom. And that also goes for coaches as well.
In fact, both coaches learned something about their teams in Southold’s 6-1 boys soccer victory over host Greenport on Monday afternoon.
Southold coach Andrew Sadowski said he “learned that we have to start playing the field better. We have to play outside wide. We have to create space that we could maintain possession.”
But the First Settlers (4-0, 2-0) did more than enough to win. After Kenji Fujita broke the ice with 22 minutes 17 seconds left in the first half, Drew Sacher and Sean Moran struck for 2 goals apiece in the Suffolk County League VIII match. Christopher Bucci added a single tally.
“I was happy with their overall effort,” Sadowski said. “I thought we played a little sloppy. We were disorganized in the back at times. It’s a work progress and we’re getting there.”
Greenport coach Chris Golden learned his team still has a lot of learn. After surrendering the first 3 goals, the Porters (0-3, 0-2) struck pay dirt on Bryon Rivas’ goal with 25:28 remaining in the match. But the visitors scored 3 unanswered goals down the stretch.
“Any type of athletic competition involves mental, emotional and physical readiness,” Golden said. “Many of the kids, physically, they can play. They go up and down. It’s the emotional part of the game, especially with the young players. We got down three goals. We fought back and we got one back, 3-1. At that point, you’ve got to really grind it out mentally. For 25 minutes we did all right but then we gave up that fourth goal. Then you could see that we gave up the fifth and the sixth. I’m looking for that ability to get that next goal, to go from 3-1 to 3-2 as opposed to 4-1, 5-1, 6-1. With a young team, that takes time.”
But it was Southold that took the lead on Fujita’s goal.
“It kind of takes them out of the game and puts us in the game,” Sacher said. “It gives us the momentum. We knew that once we scored one that more were going to come. We didn’t know how many, but six is a good number.”
Sacher made his contributions, scoring from point-blank range off a corner kick with 16:55 left and off a line drive with 24 seconds remaining in the first half.
The second half belonged to Moran, who struck twice. His first goal, which boosted Southold’s lead to 4-1 with 11:30 remaining in the match, demonstrated his determination. Sadowski said it was “just pure effort, pure hustle that he wanted to score.”
Moran’s second goal, an outstanding effort, showcased his vision and skill as he scored from 25 yards to the far left side past goalkeeper Alex Perez (10 saves) with 6:38 left.
“The ball squirted out and it was bouncing,” Moran said. “I just hit it across myself and hit far post. I was just trying to hit it hard and place it. … You just got to work hard and take your opportunities on goals like that.”
While his team lost by 5 goals to their rivals and neighbors, Golden walked away encouraged, saying that his players “stood out in different ways.”
He was encouraged by sophomore right back Justin Bracken, who played back-to-back solid 80-minute matches. “I’m thrilled to death for him because now I can pencil him in for the next two years,” he said.
He was encouraged by the attitude of junior Angel Colon, who played some at defense, midfield and forward.
He was encouraged by senior goalkeeper-turned-field player Austin Hooks, “figuring it out in midfield in the second half.”
He was encouraged by Rivas’ goal. “Byron fighting off that thing, great composure scoring that goal with defenders all over him,” Golden said. “Last year, he shot from 40 from yards out or shot the ball over the goal.”
And he was encouraged by seventh-grade midfielder Mateo Arias, who played his third varsity match. “You know what? It’s got to be tough as a seventh-grader,” said Golden.
“Each of these kids, those little moments — I find the things each one of them did and that’s what I want them to remember when they go home,” Golden added. “Then they come back and we build on that tomorrow.”