TUCKERS 3, LIONS 2
Mattituck overcame oppressive heat and humidity, the absence of three key players and a tough Longwood side to record a 3-2 comeback victory in its high school boys soccer season opener in Middle Island on Saturday morning.
Mario Arreola capped a comeback from a one-goal second-half deficit, connecting for the game-winner with 18 minutes 8 seconds remaining before he saved a shot off the goal line in the waning seconds.
Kaan Ilgin, last year’s Suffolk County small schools player of the year, who attended his grandfather’s funeral in his native Turkey, and brothers James and Paul Hayes, who were at the wedding of their brother Matt in New Jersey, did not play for the Tuckers.
The game was stopped three times in the second half for water breaks when the heat index rose to 88.
Joe Tardif gave the Tuckers a 1-0 advantage, converting a scramble in front of goalkeeper Quinn Vogeli with 4:35 remaining in the first half, but the Lions struck back only 80 seconds later to knot things up on Cevat Taginik’s point-blank attempt past goalkeeper Ben Knowles.
The hosts grabbed the lead on Ulas Sire’s score with 31:41 left in the half. Walter Jacob equalized at 2-2 for Mattituck off a Dan Parks pass 29 seconds later.
About 12 minutes later, Parks sent Arreola a through ball and he beat the keeper from the left side for the winner.
Kaan and the Hayes twins are expected to be back for the Tuckers’ next non-league match against East Hampton at Mattituck on Tuesday.