When a team’s captain goes down with an injury during the biggest game of the season, it can be a recipe for disaster.
Factor in that Greenport was already down 1-0 when junior Ricky Campos rolled his ankle, putting the Porters in a tough situation.
Sophomore midfielder Luis Masin wouldn’t let that adversity be the end of this season. He took it upon himself to help lift the Porters to victory.
The smallest player on the field, Masin made the biggest impact as Greenport defeated Section 9’s Chapel Field Christian, 5-2, in the Southeast Class D Regional played at Diamond in the Pines in Coram Saturday afternoon.
Masin led Greenport to its first New York State final four since 2005 by contributing two goals and two assists. After Campos went down, Masin was a magician on the ball, weaving through traffic and making the right play over and over again.
“Ricky’s been our best player all year long,” Greenport coach Greg Dlhopolsky said. “We played most of the game without our best player. Our guys stepped up and Luis scoring two goals and getting two assists in a regional final is something he’ll remember for the rest of his life.”
The Porters fell behind early as Chapel Field Christian’s Noah Swart blasted a magnificent strike from about 30 yards out that just got by goalkeeper Collin McDaniels’ fingertips. But from there on out however, the Lions barely had any offensive attack. Greenport held possession for the majority of the game and with possession come opportunities to score.
With about 23 minutes left in the first half, Greenport got their first corner kick. Masin delivered a lofty cross into the box that found Milton Veliz who deposited the shot in the back of the net to tie the game at 1-1. Masin wasn’t done, though, as he swiftly avoided defenders down the left end just three minutes later into the box before rolling a pass across the net to Daniel Rivas who had a wide open net and didn’t miss.
“Luis put his team on his back and put it away in the first half for us,” Dlhopolsky said.
Masin went on to score two of his own goals to extend the lead to 4-1 — one of which was a header that surprised everyone on the field.
“5-foot-2 but he plays 7-foot-2,” the coach said.
Campos, who scored Greenport’s final goal of the game, had nothing but praise for the sophomore midfielder.
“Every single practice, every single game he plays his heart out,” Campos said. “He’s not the biggest guy on the field but he always gives 110%.”
Being only a sophomore, Masin knows he has to bring it every single time he steps on the field. The youngster doesn’t lack confidence.
“I have no choice but to work my butt off out here,” Masin said. “It’s a lot of practice, hard work and dedication for me to perfect my craft.”
The Porters have now reeled off five straight victories since an Oct. 13 loss dropped them to 1-12.
All in all, Dlhopolsky said Saturday’s game wasn’t the best he has seen his team play, so perhaps they’re leaving the best for last. Greenport (6-12) now travels to Middletown High School in Middletown, N.Y. next Saturday at 11:15 a.m. to play Section 5’s Fillmore in the state semifinals. Filmore won 2-0 against Ellicottville Saturday and is now 20-0 and ranked second in the state behind Chazy of Section 7.
“We’re motivated,” Masin said. “We haven’t been here in 17 years. We have to make it happen. Go to states and bring it home.”