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Boys Soccer: Mattituck gets back to basics, cruises past Greenport, 6-1

Sometimes you have to tone down the X’s and O’s just a bit and let the players play.

Which the Mattituck boys soccer team did this week.

After dropping a 2-0 decision to Suffolk County Class B champion Babylon on Monday, head coach Dan O’Sullivan decided not to push tactics as much.

It worked to near perfection.

On Wednesday, the Tuckers recorded a 4-0 home victory over long-time archrival Center Moriches.

On Friday, they added another to the win column with a 6-1 triumph at Greenport in a League V encounter.

“It dropped a lot of stress on us,” said sophomore Sean Szcotka, who tallied two goals in the first half. “We’re not focusing on the tactics or any other stuff. We’re just playing how we should have played and just playing simple, and it really helped a lot, honestly.”

Junior Wesley Secaida, who scored 97 seconds after the opening kickoff to set the tone of the match, agreed.

“It’s very important because we know the way we play,” he said.

The six goals for the Tuckers (4-1, 4-1) represented a season-high in the early part of the year. Alex Clark, Erik McKenna (six assists this season) and Tommy McGuinngle added goals. Cris Arreola recorded three assists.

“The fun stuff is you do get to share the wealth a little bit more,” Mattituck coach Dan O’Sullivan said. “At halftime, I did say there were times last year we get in games like this, and it was everybody trying to force to get one guy a point. I said just let the game come to us. Everybody’s gets involved. If we play our game, good things will happen.”

After Mattituck’s Alex Clark scored a goal, he was congratulated by Erik Morales and teammates Tommy McGuinngle (left) and Wesley Secaida (right). (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

Within two minutes they did as Secaida connected off an Erik McKenna cross from around the penalty spot. The lead grew to 4-0 by halftime. Sczotza scored with 25 minutes, 40 second remaining in the first half before adding his second with 19:55 left for a three-goal advantage. Clark put in an Erick Morales free kick with 16:22 to go.

“We played pretty good during the second half but the first half we could have played better,” Secaida said. “We were just there when the moment was right. You got to be patient. You can’t force anything.”

McKenna converted a 3-on-1 break with 26:11 remaining in the match and McGunnigle added goal No. 6 with 22:05 left.

There also were some unsung heroes. Morales, who recorded his first hat-trick against Moriches, had one assist Friday, but he contributed in another way.

“He was a leader,” O’Sullivan said. “He’s only a junior but he yelled, ‘Coach I want to play in the back. I just want to help get everything straightened out here.’ I have to commend him for that. He didn’t have any [goals] today. Yet, he was a big part of just helping control the middle of the field.”

During the second half, O’Sullivan unloaded his bench, giving all 25 players a chance to see some action. Getting younger players some time could help the team later in the campaign.

Greenport’s Ricky Campos moves the ball as is shadowed by Mattituck’s Tommy McGuinngle. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

“These bench guys work hard just as much as they do in practice,” O’Sullivan said. “They need to be rewarded, too. ‘If you do your job, it allows your friends to be able to get a chance to get in.’ I was definitely pleased with that.”

Greenport coach Greg Dlhopolsky faced a challenge at the other end of the spectrum. The Porters (0-3, 0-3) had only 13 players. Three players needed to work at their after-school jobs. That limited his options off the bench.

“Unfortunately, there are certain times that they have to work. They can’t make the games,” he said. “It’s frustrating to some degree, but I respect the fact that a lot of them are helping their families out and they’re doing what they think they need to do.”

The Porters have gotten off to a rough start, dropping their first three games by a combined score of 18-1.

“They want to win,” Dlhopolsky said. “They know we’re playing against bigger schools with quality players that play year-round. A lot of our guys play soccer in the fall, and they play other sports the rest of the year.

“We’re a [Class] D team, and the only other D team in our league is Smithtown Christian. We’re playing up two classes against a team like Mattituck. We’re getting better. I’m proud of the guys that keep putting the effort in. They want to get better. I think we will.”

Nery Cano scored Greenport’s first goal of the year with 30:03 remaining in the game, cutting the visitors’ lead to 4-1.

“It wasn’t a cheap goal,” said Dlhopolsky, who told his team at halftime: “Listen guys, we’re probably not going to score five goals, and win this game In the second half. So, let’s make a point this half to put a ball on the back of the net.”

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