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Boys Soccer: Southold’s second-half surge wins day

A big second-half carried Southold to a high school boys soccer victory over Smithtown Christian Wednesday afternoon.

The First Settlers scored three times as they registered a 5-2 victory in the Suffolk County League VIII game in Smithtown.

Sophomore forward Joe Silvestro led the way with two goals and one assist. Luis Herrera, Joe Berry and Ryan Herrmann (two assists) added one goal apiece for Southold (5-1, 5-1) against the Knights (2-3, 2-3).

“I was happy with our offensive push,” coach Andrew Sadowski said. “They used the width of the field quite well. We have been kind of struggling with that on and off throughout the season. So I was happy with that. We need to possess the ball in the midfield a little bit more, but overall I’m very happy with their efforts.”

The First Settlers dominated the first half in possession and shots. With 21 minutes, 55 seconds remaining in the half, Herrera beat his man on the left side before scoring at the near post past goalkeeper Aydin Olgun.

The Knights, however, equalized on a spectacular goal, the first of two scores by Josiah Fennelly, with 15:51 to go. He took a Luciano Pagoiarulo pass and scored from a difficult angle from the right side past keeper Cole Brigham.

“Smithtown always plays very hard,” Sadowski said. “They always have some very good players.”

Despite the Settlers’ domination, they only had a tie at that point.

“You always have to be concerned because goals are hard to come by,” Sadowski said. “Although we were fortunate to score five, all it takes is one breakaway for the other team and they’re up 2-1. Then the whole momentum of the game changes. I never take for granted that we’re going to score more because if that was the case, I wouldn’t lose any games as a coach.”

Silvestro, who leads Southold with eight goals this season, made sure the visitors had some momentum entering halftime. The sophomore fired a shot that Olgun deflected. Silvestro got behind him and slammed the ball into the net to make sure it was entirely over the goal line with 6:36 left.

The game shifted dramatically within a 1:59 span midway through the second half.

First, midfielder Joe Berry slipped a Herrmann feed past the keeper for a 3-1 lead with 25:59 remaining before Herrmann found the range, flicking the ball past Olgun into the net with 24:00 left.

After Fennelly’s second goal of the game, and fifth of the season, from point-blank range cut the margin to 4-2 with 21:53 go, Silvestro had Olgun dead to rights and deposited the ball into the lower left corner to close out the scoring.

Southold next hosts Ross on Sept. 25 and Southampton on Sept. 27 before for a non-league encounter at Mattituck on Sept. 29.

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Photo caption: Southold’s Edwin Martinez beats Smithtown Christian’s Michael Pennacchio to the ball. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)