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Boys Soccer: Southold pulls off stunner in playoff opener

Its playoff hopes feared to be dead in the water only last week. On Wednesday, the Southold boys soccer team came to life in the most dramatic fashion.

Junior Santos scored with six minutes and 36 seconds remaining in the first overtime to lift the third-seeded First Settlers to a stunning 1-0 triumph over second-seeded The Stony Brook School in the Suffolk County Class C semifinal in Stony Brook.

The First Settlers (7-10 overall) finished the League VII with a 6-7 mark, but coach Andrew Sadowski petitioned the county for a spot in the tournament because his team finished with a 5-5 record against Class C schools. His wishes were granted, although the defending Class C county champions had to play a Stony Brook team (9-5) that beat them 6-0 and 5-1 in league play this year.

Given a second chance, the First Settlers did not squander it, playing one of their best games of the season. They played with intensity, swarmed around Bears players with the ball, made smart plays on the attack and defensively and kept their focus.

Santos put an exclamation point on the performance when he faked out a defender and fired a 16-yard shot past goalkeeper David Choi for the sudden-death victory and his second goal this season.

Goalkeeper and co-captain Dylan Clausen was superb, making seven saves. That included a spectacular stop on Jai Narain’s point-blank header with 1:23 remaining in regulation.

Southold shut down striker Alvaro Martinez Torres, who entered the game as the county’s fourth leading scorer (20 goals, 6 assists). Torres had registered four goals and three assists against the North Fork side this season.

The First Settlers will face top-seeded Pierson/Bridgehampton (9-6) at Diamond in the Pines Saturday at noon.

They twice lost by one goal to Pierson in League VII this season — 2-1 on Sept. 6 and 3-2 on Oct. 5.