11/10/12 7:01pm
11/10/2012 7:01 PM

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Southold senior Sean O’Donnell leaps to make a play on the ball Saturday against Port Jefferson.

Southold High School could not recover from a two-goal halftime deficit and suffered a 3-1 defeat to Port Jefferson in the Suffolk County Class C boys soccer final in Coram Saturday afternoon.

Senior forward Vincent Antonelli struck for a hat-trick for the Royals at Diamond in the Pines. He headed a Blake Bohlen right-wing cross past goalkeeper Kenji Fujita with 20:13 remaining in the opening half before adding a second goal with 2:35 left in the half.

Antonelli put home a Connor Crovello feed with 28:49 to go in the second half.

Senior forward Evan Miller pulled one back for the First Settlers (13-5) with 13:00 remaining in the match.

Three of Southold’s five losses were to the Royals, who also defeated Southold last year in the finals.

Port Jeff (16-0) will play the Nassau County B champion for the Long Island title at Mitchel Athletic Complex in Uniondale at 11 a.m. on Monday.

10/18/12 7:29pm
10/18/2012 7:29 PM

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Greenport/Shelter Island’s Erick Ramirez and Southold’s Benjamin Glew in an aerial duel.

FIRST SETTLERS 3, PORTERS 0

Just in case there was any misunderstanding, Evan Miller showed that there is quality to go with the quantity of his goal production. That quantity is sizable, too.

With the two goals Miller bagged for the Southold boys soccer team on Thursday, the senior forward raised his season total to 24, which is remarkable enough, coming from 14 games. But it was Goal No. 23 for Miller — his first in Southold’s 3-0 defeat of visiting Greenport/Shelter Island — that really caused jaws to drop in amazement.

Drew Sacher initiated the sequence, supplying a ball on the right side for Ryan DiGregorio. DiGregorio, in turn, pushed a centering pass toward Miller, a supremely talented player who is full of surprises. Miller allowed the pass to run between his legs before he deftly used the heel of his right foot to direct the ball inside the left goalpost. The goal, which came 94 seconds into the second half, was the product of finesse and ingenuity, the sort of goal one doesn’t see every day.

“That was something crazy,” marveled Greenport/Shelter Island right back Angel Colon.

“Great goal,” Greenport/Shelter Island coach Chris Golden said. “You got to tip your hat to that type of finish.”

Even for a player of Miller’s ability, it was a special goal. He said he may have scored on a back heel once before for a club team. “That’s the first back heel for Southold,” he said.

While Southold coach Andrew Sadowski said he has seen Miller score even better goals than that one, he could appreciate the talent behind it. “I would attribute that type of a goal to a player that can smell the goal no matter where he is,” said Sadowski.

The win was the sixth in a row for Southold (11-3, 9-1 Suffolk County League VIII), which has outscored opponents by 23-4 during the winning streak and has pumped in 16 goals in three games.

“I’m very pleased with the goal production,” Sadowski said, “and most of the goals that we’ve been scoring are quality goals with very good team play.”

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Drew Sacher of Southold holding off Greenport/Shelter Island’s Nick Droskoski before firing in a right-footed shot for his 12th goal of the season in the 46th minute.

Ever since a 4-0 loss to Port Jefferson on Oct. 1, October has been kind to Southold. Sadowski moved some players around, and the First Settlers responded in a positive fashion.

“We were a little shaken up after that [loss to Port Jefferson], so we wanted to get back on our feet,” Miller said. “We couldn’t have done a better job, to be honest with you. We recuperated.”

Overshadowed somewhat by Miller’s goal scoring has been the play of Sacher, a junior forward who didn’t have a bad day himself on Thursday. Sacher was involved in all three Southold goals, including the one he scored himself in the 46th minute from an assist by Benjamin Glew. It was Sacher’s 12th goal of the season.

Sacher also assisted on the third goal, which Miller slammed in with 2:26 left in the game.

“They’re an excellent team,” Colon said. “They finish really well. I think we played with a lot of heart, a lot of intensity. Towards the end we kind of broke down. It’s something we have to work on.”

Kenji Fujita made five saves for his seventh shutout of the season. The best of those stops was a diving parry of a fierce blast by Erick Ramirez in the first half. It was a big save.

“Unfortunately, we’re the type of team that if we get the first goal, that helps us with our momentum,” Golden said. “So, we really need the first goal, and we had a couple of chances, and then we get frustrated a little bit if the ball doesn’t go into the net, and then we start to press and press.”

It was the fourth game in a row without a win for Greenport/Shelter Island (4-8-2, 4-4-2). The Porters need a win or two ties from their remaining two regular-season games against Pierson/Bridgehampton and The Ross School in order to secure their fourth playoff berth in six years.

Southold, which last won the league title three years ago, is chasing first-place Port Jefferson, the defending New York State Class C champion, for the league crown. Even without one of their senior captains, Rob Melly, who scored in a 1-0 win over Greenport/Shelter Island earlier in the season but was absent because of illness on Thursday, the First Settlers looked sharp in the rematch between the two rivals, who are based only eight miles from each other.

“We’re heading in the right direction,” said Sadowski.

Miller was his usual active self, taking seven shots, connecting on 9 of 13 passes and touching the ball 31 times. But it was one touch more than any other, the back-heel flick, that stands as the highlight of the game.

Said Miller, “Those are fun.”

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08/22/12 8:00pm
08/22/2012 8:00 PM

GARRET MEADE FILE PHOTO | Evan Miller of Southold played in his second national cup final in four years with Lake Grove United.

BOYS SOCCER: Miller plays in national final If Evan Miller is asked to write an essay about what he did this summer when he returns to school, he will have a lot to write about.

For the second time in four years, Miller played in a national cup final with Lake Grove United. This time, however, the result wasn’t favorable to Miller and his teammates.

Miller, a Southold High School senior, started at striker for Lake Grove United in its recent 3-0 loss to Merced Atlas (Calif.) in the boys under-17 super group title game as part of the National Cup XI Finals in Chicago.

“It hurt, but it didn’t hurt as much as I thought it would,” Miller said of the loss. “We’re still proud of how far we went with a team that went as far as it did.”

Perhaps one reason why the loss wasn’t as painful as it might have been was because Lake Grove wasn’t expected to go as far as it did in the national tournament, having lost about half of its players to college.

“When we went to regionals, it was just a brand new team put together,” Miller said. “We somehow made it to the national final and we were all shocked.”

It may have also helped that Miller won a national title with Lake Grove in 2009, receiving a medal and a jacket for his efforts.

Miller played midfield and striker for Lake Grove. He scored five goals in nine games for Lake Grove in this year’s tournament.

Miller, who will be entering his fourth varsity season for Southold, recognizes that most players don’t play in one national cup final, never mind two. “Just getting experience, getting the experience of having the pressure and atmosphere of the game. getting that under your belt, it’s insane having done that,” he said.
BOB LIEPA

BASEBALL: ACBL MVP award shared Center Moriches Battlecats catcher Joe Solomeno (Pace) and Shelter Island Bucks infielder Thomas Roulis (Dartmouth) were named co-winners of the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League Most Valuable Player Award. Solomeno also collected the league’s Hitting Award, awarded to the player with the highest batting average. Staten Island catcher Gabby Molina (Keystone) earned the slugging award with a .726 slugging percentage.

Southampton lefthander Paul Paez (Rio Hondo Junior College) reeled in the Most Valuable Pitcher Award after leading the league in wins and strikeouts.

Voting was done by a panel of the 17 field managers in the ACBL. The co-MVP honors were the first since 2009 when Jersey’s Ken Gregory and Riverhead’s Peter Greskoff split the award.

Solomeno had one of the best years in the league’s history, leading all hitters in average (.421), hits (61), doubles (14), runs batted in (53) and total bases (96). His year included a five-hit effort on opening night, a 10-9 triumph over Westhampton, and a stretch of 11 straight games in which he had at least one RBI. He was the starting catcher for the Hampton Division All-Star Team on July 19 at MCU Park in Brooklyn.

All Roulis did in his summer on Shelter Island was lead the league in runs scored (41) and stolen bases (24) while hitting at a .399 clip and finishing second behind Solomeno in hits with 59. He sparked a Bucks offense that led the league in runs scored with 281, leading the first-year squad to the Hampton Division regular-season crown. Roulis enjoyed a mid-season stretch in which he had a hit in 14 consecutive games.

Paez, an 18th-round pick of the New York Mets this year, dominated from day one in Southampton, striking out 12 over five innings in his debut against Shelter Island on June 4. He fanned a season-best 13 in Southampton’s victory over Riverhead on July 14, and Paez tied former Riverhead right-hander Nick Tropeano for single-season wins by recording his seventh in the Breakers’ 9-4 triumph over Center Moriches on July 22.

He finished his season with 82 strikeouts, breaking Tropeano’s Hamptons mark of 77 in 2009. It also put Paez just outside the top five in ACBL history. Paez, who was named the starting pitcher for the Hampton Division All-Stars, limited hitters to 35 hits in 60 regular-season innings.

Molina was a mainstay behind the plate for Staten Island, but he also wielded a mighty bat. Of the senior’s 27 hits this season, 16 went for extra bases, including 11 doubles and five home runs.

GOLF: Golfing for Porters The eighth annual Gridiron Golf Classic will be held on Tuesday at Island’s End Golf & Country Club in Greenport, with a shotgun start scheduled for 1 p.m. The fee is $175 per golfer. The tournament benefits the Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island high school football team. For more information, call Darryl Volinski at (631) 477-2523.

09/13/11 7:35pm
09/13/2011 7:35 PM

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Southold Coach Andrew Sadowski spoke to his players during halftime of his 200th career win on Tuesday in Bayport.

Asked what 200 career wins means to him, Andrew Sadowski joked that it means he has been around for a long time. But, of course, there is a greater meaning to that milestone for the Southold High School boys soccer coach.

“I think that the significance of 200 wins is I still want to be on the field,” he said. “I still love the game. I still want to be with [the players]. I want to coach them. I want to be better as a coach. I want to keep learning the game more.”

And he wants to keep going.

Sadowski, in his 17th year as a varsity coach, bagged his 200th career win on Tuesday. It came on the road via a 2-0 non-league victory over the host Bayport-Blue Point Phantoms.

When the game ended, Sadowski, standing on the sideline, didn’t show any emotion. He merely looked down at his feet and kicked lightly at the grass. Not much of a reaction, but at least one of Southold’s players, Evan Miller, sensed what the 200 mark meant to his coach.

“I’m sure on the inside he feels very good about getting 200 wins,” Miller, a junior midfielder, said. “It’s very nice to get it when I’m here. It feels good to do it for him.”

With the win, Sadowski upped his career record to 200-89-14 (.660). He has been Southold’s coach for all of those games. He ranks fifth among active Suffolk coaches and is 22nd on the county’s all-time win list.

Sadowski had the entire off-season to think about No. 200 after the First Settlers were ousted by the Port Jefferson Royals in a Suffolk Class C semifinal last year, leaving him stuck at 199. Then, following Southold’s 3-0 season-opening loss to the Southampton Mariners on Saturday night, Sadowski had to wait another three days before he finally joined the exclusive 200 club.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Southold's Winston Wilcenski, left, attempted a cross while being pursued by Bayport-Blue Point's Matt White.

“He has a really, really good system that the kids buy into,” Bayport-Blue Point Coach Jim Moccio said. “It’s a tribute to him. He runs a real nice program. He’s a class guy. His teams are always classy, and he deserves it.”

(An interesting side note: Bayport-Blue Point’s assistant coach, Greg Zaleski, was a goalkeeper for Sadowski).

Sadowski recalls his first career win (a 1-0 defeat of the Riverhead Blue Waves). Of the 200 wins he has chalked up, does he have a favorite?

“I don’t know,” he said. “That’s a really hard question.”

He certainly has plenty of wins to choose from. There was a penalty-kick triumph in 1999 that brought the First Settlers a Southeast Region title. And then there was the game in 2001 in which Kenny Heidtmann scored in overtime to send Southold into the state final.

“Lots of good stuff,” Sadowski said, “a lot of good wins.”

Tuesday’s wasn’t bad, either. An unassisted goal by sophomore forward Drew Sacher 5 minutes 50 seconds after the opening kickoff and a penalty kick by senior defender Brian Cassidy at 43:49 accounted for all of the scoring. On Sacher’s goal, a clearance attempt failed, the ball fell to Sacher’s feet and he applied the finishing touch on Southold’s first shot of the game.

Bayport-Blue Point (1-1, 0-0 in League VI) had to play a man down for the final 36:11 after its goalkeeper, Connor Ward, received a straight red card for his foul on Miller, which led to Cassidy’s penalty kick. Pat Gerard, a defender, put on a yellow goalkeeper’s jersey and trotted onto the field to face the penalty, which Cassidy blasted under him.

On the play that led to the penalty, Miller ran onto a through ball and directed a shot past the goalie and wide of the left goalpost before being hit in the midsection, flipping over and landing on his lower back. He was shaken up on the play and headed to the sideline before re-entering the game for Muhammet Ilgin with 28:58 to go.

Moccio couldn’t complain about the red card. “The rule’s the rule,” he said. “When you’re the last man, you take somebody out, it’s a red card.”

The Phantoms suffered a potentially bigger loss earlier in the game. Kevin McGrath, a sophomore midfielder who might be the team’s best player, went down screaming in pain in the 22nd minute. He was helped off the field and later carted away with ice on his left ankle. Moccio said the trainer believes McGrath suffered a high ankle sprain.

Just two minutes before the injury, McGrath saw his penalty kick to the low left corner saved by Preston Jolliver (five saves). The penalty was awarded following a foul on Harry Martin.

McGrath’s injury is just more bad news for the Phantoms. They had already entered the game down a starter from the first game when striker Nick Oakley injured his knee in a 1-0 overtime win over the Center Moriches Red Devils.

And now the Phantoms will have to bring a goalkeeper up from the junior varsity team while Young serves a one-game suspension. It’s a tough blow for a team that went 3-9 and scored only seven goals last season, but has hopes for better things to come in 2011.

“Today’s a hard day to assess because I don’t know what we’re going to have tomorrow,” said Moccio.

It was a good early-season test for Southold (1-1, 0-0 League VIII), and certainly a memorable day for Sadowski.

“He’s a very excellent coach,” said Miller, who took a game-high seven shots, completed 18 of 29 passes and had 44 touches. “He knows what he’s talking about … and he’s just always there to push you and make you better.”

Sadowski, who said he enjoys coaching as much as ever, wanted to get the 200th win out of the way early in the season so it wouldn’t be a distraction. He got his wish.

“You work hard and good things happen,” he said. “That’s what I’m taking out of the 200th win. We work hard together as a team, and the wins add up.”

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