A golden goal never materialized, but two pairs of goalkeeper gloves were golden.
When it comes to high school boys soccer goalies, Greenport’s Jeyson Calate and Southold’s Gavin Fredricks are keepers. No question about that.
Exhibit A: Tuesday’s Suffolk County League V game at Southold High School. Both junior goalkeepers were spectacular. Both deserved to win, certainly didn’t deserve to lose, and had to settle for a 1-1 tie after 100 minutes of action-packed soccer, the last 20 in overtime. That mirrored the result of a non-leaguer the teams played March 10.
“The goalkeepers were the [story of the] day, for sure,” Southold coach Andrew Sadowski said. “They both made great saves.”
Calate stopped 12 shots and Fredricks 10, but it was the quality of those saves, not the quantity that really stood out.
Calate, a Guatemalan who had never played school soccer before, came out for the team at the last minute. Greenport coach Greg Dlhopolsky said a week before the season started, some of his players told him they were shooting around with Calate in goal and he was really good. Dlhopolsky urged them to convince him to play, and he signed up.
“He’s honestly been fantastic for us in every game this season,” Dlhopolsky said. He said Calate’s play speaks for itself.
It spoke volumes Tuesday.
On an afternoon of outstanding stops, Calate may have turned in the best of them all, diving to his right to knock aside Daniel Palencia’s venomous right-footer 4:35 into overtime. “I can’t believe that goalkeeper made that save,” marveled Sadowski.
Not long after that there was an acrobatic grab by Calate of a dangerous ball in the six-yard box.
With 10 minutes, 58 seconds left in the first half, Calate stopped a Fernando Cardenas shot between his legs.
Calate made a great save on Jaishaun McRae. But McRae was not to be denied. Moments later, at 40:53, McRae picked up his first goal of the season, slamming in a ball that popped out his way for a 1-0 lead. Jonathan Lopez was credited with the assist.
Heading into the game, Calate ranked seventh in Suffolk with 42 saves, according to Newsday. Calate, with teammate Johan Esquivel acting as a translator, said he doesn’t feel pressure during games.
At the other end of the field, the sure-handed Fredricks was doing his thing, putting his athletic 6-foot-2 frame to good use by handling crosses and racing off his goal line to cut out trouble.
“I think this was his best game,” Sadowski said. “Besides the saves, he did a great job being a leader on the field, his voice, his directions to his teammates. He’s done a real good job of really working on improving his goalkeeper techniques. He’s a great kid to work with because he wants to be better and he clearly works at it.”
In 2019, Fredricks played for the junior varsity team, but did see a few games for the varsity team. Comparing the two levels, he said: “It’s completely different. The pace is so much higher [in a varsity game]. It’s so much more intense.”
Fredricks came to Southold’s rescue in overtime. A fierce 40-yard free kick by Kevin Azama took a wicked deflection, but Fredricks was up to the task. With about 1:40 left in overtime, Alan Morales set Hugo Campos free with a ball down the right wing. Fredricks came out deep to the side of the penalty area, cut down the angle and caught Campos’ shot right at him.
Fredricks faced some nasty stuff. His best save may have been when he pushed a vicious liner of a free kick by Ramirez over the crossbar in the second half.
Ramirez, though, got what he was looking for soon enough. Following a Southold foul, Azama placed the ball down on the field and Ramirez didn’t waste a moment in charging forward and nailing the 22-yard free kick into the net with 13:18 left in the second half. It was the second goal of the season for Ramirez, who also scored in the first game between the teams.
Greenport is 1-2-2, 1-2-1 in league play and Southold is 2-2-2, 1-2-1.
Said Dlhopolsky, “The goalkeepers really kept both teams in the game.”
SADOWSKI NEAR MILESTONE
Tuesday’s result left Andrew Sadowski sitting at 298 career coaching wins, all with Southold.
“It means a lot because it reinforces and constantly reminds me of all the kids that I’ve been lucky enough to have come through here that I’ve been able to have a relationship with,” said Sadowski, who is in his 27th year running the team.