06/13/15 12:50pm
06/13/2015 12:50 PM
Mattituck's Joe Tardif pitched a four-hitter to lead the Tuckers to a win in the state semifinals Saturday. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)

Mattituck’s Joe Tardif pitched a four-hitter to lead the Tuckers to a win in the state semifinals Saturday. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)


As the coach of the team that traveled the farthest to Binghamton for the Class B state semifinals, Steve DeCaro had the honor of calling the coin flip that determined which team was designated the home team.

“As always, I lost,” DeCaro said. “And when that happened, we felt good.”

The Tuckers got the chance to hit first, and they quickly jumped on Ogdensburg Free Academy with two runs. With Joe Tardif on the mound, the Tuckers knew any lead would give them a golden opportunity to make history.  (more…)

11/01/14 5:35pm
11/01/2014 5:35 PM
Kaan Ilgin scored twice in Mattituck's win Saturday for the Class B county title. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)

Kaan Ilgin scored twice in Mattituck’s win Saturday for the Class B county title. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

Mattituck became the first boys high school soccer team to win five consecutive Suffolk County championships Saturday, recording a 2-0 victory over archrival Center Moriches in the wind and rain at Diamond in the Pines in Coram Saturday afternoon. (more…)

09/25/13 8:00am
09/25/2013 8:00 AM
GARRET MEADE FILE PHOTO  |  Mattituck sophomore Mario Arreola and the Tuckers take on Livonia today in the Class B state semifinals at Middletown High School.

GARRET MEADE FILE PHOTO | Mario Arreola helped lead Mattituck past Center Moriches last year in the county finals. The teams first played for a title in 1937.

Mattituck vs. Center Moriches.

North Fork vs. South Shore.

The best of Suffolk County Class B boys soccer.

There are few other high school soccer rivalries on Long Island that match the intensity these two teams put on the field.

While some other schools might argue that their rivalry is more fierce, one thing is certain — no other soccer rivalry goes back some 76 years and still resonates today.

In fact, on Nov. 12, 1937, Mattituck defeated Center Moriches, 1-0, at Eastport High School to capture the Suffolk County Interscholastic soccer title. It was the first year the Tuckers fielded a competitive team, directed by the legendary coach Robert Muir, for whom the school’s athletic fields are named.

According to the Long Island Traveler, those two schools “put up one of the hardest-fought games ever to be witnessed in the county.”

How appropriate that it was hotly contested because many, if not all, Mattituck-Center Moriches confrontations seem to be that way today.

The rivalry renews this afternoon with Round 1 at Center Moriches High School at 4:30 p.m.

“They always play us hard,” Mattituck senior goalkeeper Steve Ostrowski said after he and Ben Knowles backstopped the Tuckers to a 5-0 league win over Wyandanch Monday. “You know it’s going to be a one-goal game. You know it’s not going to be a soccer game.

“When we play Center Moriches, it turns into like this weird form, whatever goes.”

Mattituck (5-1-0, 4-0-0 League VII) entered the game ranked third among Class B schools by the New York State Sportswriters Association. Center Moriches (4-0-1, 2-0-1 League VII) defeated Babylon Monday, 5-1, (Jake Sweeney had two goals) and is ranked 11th in the state.

Regardless of where the schools are ranked, there will always be a rivalry.

“I don’t care if Mattituck or Center Moriches is a fourth- or fifth-place team or the first- or second-place team,” Center Moriches coach Chris O’Brien said. “It’s always a big game because it’s a rivalry game. We haven’t beaten them in the county playoffs in three years. The last time we did was ’09 and we wound up winning the whole thing. We won the state championship that year. It would be nice to get back there with this group.

“But you’ve got a lot of steps before that. You’ve got to get into the playoffs first. You’ve got to play well enough during the season and they’ve got to play well in the playoffs before you see them. And of course, you’ve got to finish the deal. Until somebody takes the championship away from them, they’re still the champs.”

Center Moriches junior forward and co-captain Anthony Parlato realized that all roads to New York State glory go through Mattituck. He said that beating the Tuckers “would mean so much,” to him. “It would mean a lot to the school, too,” he added.

In last year’s Class B final, Mattituck, despite playing a man down after right back Walter Jacob was red-carded, overcame its rivals, 4-2.

“It’s something that Mattituck soccer has been based on,” Mattituck coach Mat Litchhult said. “That rivalry just feeds soccer in the East End. It used to be Mattituck, Southold and Center Moriches when I was growing up. That’s kind of died down a little bit. A lot of the guys know each other on the North Fork. We’re not in the same league, we’re not in the same classification any more. Center’s always been there, always in our league, always in our class, so it was always some little extra juice to the match.”

Apparently there was some juice in that first championship game. A Mattituck player by the name of Repczynski, a left wing (no first name given), scored the lone goal into the center of the net late in the first period (it was not known whether the game was divided by quarters or halves).

According to the Traveler, Center Moriches had difficulties penetrating the goal area due to defenders Danowski and Bialeski. Goalkeeper Jazombek made only one save.

“A large crowd and bands from both schools gave the necessary color to the playoff contest,” the Traveler reported.

So whatever passion there was then has been brought forward some 76 years.

“I love beating Center Moriches,” Ostrowski said. “I don’t know. It’s all about the history. It’s just so intense when you meet Center.”

11/08/12 8:08pm
11/08/2012 8:08 PM

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Mattituck sophomore Kaan Ilgin scored two goals with a pair of assists Thursday against Southampton.


To start the playoffs last season, the Mattituck boys soccer team found itself in an unusual position: the underdog.

Southampton, the favorite and one of the top-ranked teams in the state, stood in the Tuckers’ way in the first round of the Class B playoffs. An upset victory propelled the Tuckers to their second straight county championship.

This year, it was Mattituck back as the favorite and the No. 1 seed going into Thursday’s playoff opener against Southampton.

“That’s something we talked about in terms of the revenge factor,” said Mattituck coach Mat Litchhult. “I’m sure they were talking about it from their end.”

The Tuckers weren’t about to let that happen. Mattituck dominated from start to finish to earn a 6-0 victory that sends the Tuckers back into the county finals Saturday against Center Moriches, a rematch of last year’s championship.

Having not played a game in more than two weeks after all the bad weather, the Tuckers came out firing with a three-goal first half. Four different players scored goals in the game, including Stephen Urwand and Kaan Ilgin who both had a pair.

The Tuckers played a scrimmage Saturday and Litchhult said he could see the team was ready to go.

“There was something building in the team,” he said. “They had this built up energy. They all played an excellent game on a really terrible weather day.”

The Tuckers won the coin flip to start the game and decided to take the wind in the first half. It paid off as they grabbed a 3-0 lead.

“There was no letdown in the second half,” Litchhult said. “I thought we played better soccer overall in the second half going into a brutal wind.”

Evan Neighley and Mario Arreola each scored one goal for Mattituck.

Ilgin had two assists as well.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Mattituck senior Anna Goerler tracks down the ball Thursday afternoon against Babylon.


Around 11:40 this morning, Mattituck girls soccer coach Peter Hansen got word that the Tuckers, as the No. 3 seed in Class B, would be hosting No. 2 Babylon in a game scheduled for 2 p.m.

It was good news for the Tuckers, who no longer had to worry about sitting on a bus for more than an hour before the start of their playoff game. The change didn’t seem to bother the Panthers, though, as they won 3-1 at Mattituck High School to end the Tuckers’ season.

The game was originally moved to a field in West Babylon because the field at Babylon High School was unplayable. But the nor’easter that tore through the area left too much snow for the game to be played in West Babylon.

So Babylon agreed to make the drive out to Mattituck so the game could be finally be played after more than a week’s worth of weather-related delays.

“It was tough for both teams with all the time off, the weather and limited practices,” Hansen said.

Babylon scored the first goal about 25 minutes into the game after Mattituck had dominated much of the action, Hansen said.

“They had the ball come out to their midfielder and she shot a great a shot [for the first goal],” Hansen said.

The Panthers made it 2-0 shortly before halftime.

Mattituck’s lone goal came from Courtney Murphy.

“They played great,” Hansen said. “Made a couple silly mistakes.”

The Tuckers finished the season 7-8 in Hansen’s first year as head coach.

Hansen said he had a good core returning next season, although it will be a young team.

“I’m excited,” he said. “Hopefully we’ll be talking about a good playoff experience next year.”

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