Ilgin nets two as Tuckers seal fifth straight county title

Kaan Ilgin scored twice in Mattituck's win Saturday for the Class B county title. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)
Kaan Ilgin scored twice in Mattituck’s win Saturday for the Class B county title. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

Mattituck became the first boys high school soccer team to win five consecutive Suffolk County championships Saturday, recording a 2-0 victory over archrival Center Moriches in the wind and rain at Diamond in the Pines in Coram Saturday afternoon.

Senior midfielder-forward Kaan Ilgin scored both goals in the second half for the Tuckers (15-2), who defeated the Red Devils in the county final for the fourth consecutive time. Center Moriches had been ranked sixth among Class B teams in New York State, .

The Tuckers, who were ranked second in the state to Irvington (Section I) coming into Saturday’s match, will meet the Nassau County Class B champion next: the winner of Saturday’s Section VIII title encounter between Oyster Bay (7-5-1) and Wheatley (3-5-3 league).

The Long Island Class B champion will be determined at Adelphi University in Garden City at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.

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Under the guidance of head coach Mat Litchhult, the Tuckers’ run began in 2010, a year after Center Moriches captured the Class B state title. Now the Tuckers are aiming for the same crown.

Ilgin gave Mattituck all the scoring it needed as he converted a 30-yard blast from the right side past goalkeeper Deny Amaya into the lower left corner of the net after a quick give-and-go with Joe Tardif at 58:29.

He added an insurance goal, scoring on a counterattack with 24 seconds remaining in the match after his teammates cleared a corner kick. Midfielder Paul Hayes sent Ilgin a long ball on the right side and Ilgin went one-on-one with the goalkeeper, putting the ball into the lower-right corner to seal the win.

Mattituck goalkeeper Ben Knowles played the full 80 minutes to record the shutout.

The rivalry between these two schools spans not years, but decades, going all the way back 77 years.

On Friday, Nov. 12, 1937 Mattituck defeated Center Moriches, 1-0, at Eastport High School to capture the Suffolk County Interscholastic soccer title. It was the first year the Tuckers fielded a competitive boys soccer team, directed by the legendary coach Robert Muir, for whom the school’s athletic fields are named.

Saturday’s game, which was moved up from 5 p.m. to noon because of the inclement weather, was supposed to be the first game of a Suffolk championship doubleheader. The Class C final between Southold and Pierson-Bridgehampton was called off and will be played at Diamond in the Pines at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.