Opponent’s five first-half goals seal Southold’s fate

ROBERT O'ROURK PHOTO | Southold's Will Richter goes airborne in an attempt to win possession of the ball.
ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Southold’s Will Richter goes airborne in an attempt to win possession of the ball during Tuesday’s regional semifinal against Friends Academy.


Not many high school boys soccer teams do what Friends Academy did to Southold on Tuesday. In fact, no other team has been able to do that to the First Settlers this season.

In a testament to just how good a team Friends is, the Nassau County champion blasted Suffolk County champion Southold, 5-1, in a Southeast Region Class C semifinal at Diamond in the Pines in Coram. All of the Quakers’ goals came in the first half for a 5-0 lead as they romped to their fourth Long Island championship.

Jon Nierenberg, a senior midfielder, was involved in the first three goals, scoring two of them, all within the opening 19 minutes 27 seconds.

The first goal, on Friends’ first foray in Southold’s penalty area just 1:50 into the match, had a flukey nature to it. Liam Bardong laid a ball down the left wing for Andrew Stingi, who directed it toward the goalmouth. Goalkeeper John Charles Funke collided with one of his defenders as they both pursued the ball, which conveniently ended up in Nierenberg’s path to put into an unguarded net.

Nierenberg initiated the sequence that led to the second score, delivering a centering pass that was knocked out toward the top of the penalty area. Oliver Muran was in the right spot at the right time and hammered a shot between Funke’s legs.

Nierenberg then made it 3-0. Funke got a fist on a long throw-in by Patrick Moodhe. A scramble ensued. The ball found its way to Nierenberg’s foot and then the Southold goal.

The goals kept coming for Friends (12-1-1), the only Class C team in Nassau.

Perhaps the nicest one of them all was Harrison Seideman’s thunderous first-timer from a corner kick by Kevin Isernio.

Bardong made it five goals for Friends, the most Southold has allowed in a game this season.

Seconds later, Southold’s Drew Sacher sent a shot off the inside of the left goal post. It was close, but no goal.

Sacher picked up his 13th goal of the season, however, with 5:01 left in the game, spoiling Brandon Rosenbaum’s shutout bid.

Earlier in the second half, Jack Dunne nearly scored for Southold (12-5-1), only to see Nierenberg clear the ball off the goal line.

Friends outshot Southold, 21-8, and was especially accurate in the first half, putting 9 of 11 shots on goal.

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