Ryan Herrmann rescued Southold with a dramatic goal with 69 seconds remaining in regulation time to boost his high school boys soccer team into a 1-1 tie at Pierson/Bridgehampton Thursday afternoon, but coach Andrew Sadowski wasn’t celebrating.
He was expecting more from the First Settlers. They were trying to upend their Suffolk County League VIII rivals so they could move into a tie for first place with a week remaining in the season.
“This is a repeat of the first game against them,” Sadowski said of a 2-1 defeat on Sept. 15. “So they have to change something. They have to change their mindset to score when they have those chances because once again we didn’t and for all intents and purposes, we did not win because we needed a win to show that we’re equal with them.”
Southold entered the encounter 11-2 overall, 10-1 in the league, while the Whalers were 12-1, 11-0, respectively.
The game was called due to darkness by both referees at 6:29 p.m. A 22-minute delay to call an ambulance for injured Pierson co-captain Ariel Quiros, who suffered an apparent neck injury and was taken to a local hospital, prolonged the game.
Both game officials said that Section XI would have to rule on whether the game is a draw or that sudden-death overtime needed to be played.
Pierson dominated the opening 10 minutes and that paid off with Grady Burton’s ninth goal of the season with 32:04 remaining in the first half. Burton latched onto a long ball from Sam Warne and scored from the right side of the penalty area past goalkeeper Cole Brigham.
“We played with not much urgency in the first half,” Sadowski said. “Gave up another soft goal. They took advantage of it. They were still playing on the bus.”
Added Herrmann, “The first nine minutes was the worst game we had the entire season.”
Herrmann made sure the Settlers would not leave empty handed as he took matters into his own hands with time winding down. He connected for his team-high 15th goal of the season from 12 yards past goalkeeper Will Martin to knot the match at 1-1.
“It kind of just got dinged around,” Herrmann said. “They gave me the ball and I touched it too far in front of me. The other team cleared it out. We went for a 50-50 ball. I was able to win it and I took it on one-on-one with the goalie.”
Sadowski felt his team woke up too late.
“There’s a minute left and we’re battling for a share of the league title,” he said..”That has to be the whole entire game. They can’t battle for the last 12 minutes of the game. It’s got to be the whole way. It’s got to be the whole way.”
Given the Settlers’ and Whalers’ records, there is a good chance they could meet in the county Class C championship game on Oct. 28.
If Southold has any chance of winning or tying for the league crown, it must win its final two matches of the regular season. Whatever Pierson does is out of its control.
The squad hosts Smithtown Christian on Monday before visiting Ross on Wednesday.