No. 1 Sports Story of the Year: Mattituck’s team for the ages

The celebration was on after Mattituck's 3-0 win over Beekmantown in the Class B state finals in November. (Credit: Michael Lewis)
The celebration was on after Mattituck’s 3-0 win over Beekmantown in the Class B state finals in November. (Credit: Michael Lewis)

Mattituck High School has competed in boys soccer since 1936. That’s a long time, a lot of games and a lot of teams. The best of those teams, according to Mat Litchhult, was the team he recently coached to the New York State Class B championship.

The senior-laden Tuckers (19-2) won their third state title, beating Beekmantown of Plattsburgh, 3-0, in the final in Middletown.

“This is the best team that has ever come through Mattituck,” declared Litchhult.

It was a wild ride for Mattituck, which became the first Suffolk school to win five consecutive county championships. Following a win over Center Moriches in the county final, Carle Place, Rye Neck, Skaneateles and Beekmantown fell victim to the Tuckers. They had also won state titles in 1982 (when they shared the crown with Holland Central) and 2003.

Not long after this recent triumph, Litchhult provided a shocker, announcing that he was retiring as Mattituck’s coach in order to spend more time with his family. During his 12 years in charge, he went 181-50-14 (.739).

After all the goals and wins, the awards followed. Senior midfielder/forward Kaan Ilgin, who scored a career-high 20 goals, was named an all-American by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. Ilgin has announced his intention to pursue a professional career.
Reflecting on the season, Litchhult, who was named Suffolk’s small school coach of the year for the second straight season, said, “If you made a movie about it you wouldn’t believe the ending.”

Top 10 sports stories

No. 10: A tennis tournament’s decline

No. 9: So close to Middletown

No. 8: The Christy era ends in Mattituck

No. 7: A coaching legend passes on

No. 6: A deep playoff run for Mattituck baseball team

No. 5: Ailing Porters end season early

No. 4: Golden age of Tuckers wrestling

No. 3: An ‘amazing’ volleyball season

No. 2: Former Tucker becomes a Tampa Bay Ray