11/16/14 1:51pm
11/16/2014 1:51 PM
The celebration was on after Mattituck's 3-0 win over Beekmantown in the Class B state finals Saturday morning in Middletown. (Credit: Michael Lewis)

The celebration was on after Mattituck’s 3-0 win over Beekmantown in the Class B state finals Saturday morning in Middletown. (Credit: Michael Lewis)

State champs!

The Mattituck boys soccer team downed Beekmantown 3-0 Sunday morning at Middletown High School to clinch the third state title in school history. A senior-laden team that experienced a taste of the states two years ago, only to come up just short, the Tuckers left little doubt of their supremacy this time. (more…)

11/15/14 11:22am
11/15/2014 11:22 AM
From left, Mattitucks' Axel Rodrigues-Canel and Ryan Foster celebrate a goal against Skaneateles in the NYSPHSAA Class B semifinals in Middletown Saturday. (Credit: Sarah Jean Condon)

From left, Mattitucks’ Axel Rodrigues-Canel and Ryan Foster celebrate a goal against Skaneateles in the NYSPHSAA Class B semifinals in Middletown Saturday. (Credit: Sarah Jean Condon)

CLASS B STATE SEMIFINALS  |  TUCKERS 6, LAKERS 0

Referee Larry Bechard blew his whistle to signify the end of play.

The score was 5-0 in favor of Mattituck as the happy Tuckers walked off the Twin Towers Middle School field in Middletown, N.Y. smiling and hugging each other for a job well done.

And it was only halftime of the New York State Class B semifinals against Skaneateles Saturday morning.

In their most dominating performance of the season, the Tuckers made that score stand up and then some, adding another goal late in the match to register a 6-0 triumph over the Section III school. Mattituck (18-2) will gun for its third state title at Middletown H.S. at 10 a.m. Sunday against Beekmantown (Section VII; 18-2-0), 1-0 winners over Livonia.

The Tuckers would have preferred to have played Livonia, which eliminated them from the state semifinals in 2012, but you don’t always get what you want.

On Saturday, though, the Tuckers seemingly did whatever they wanted against the Lakers (17-3-1). Senior Mario Arreola led the way with two goals and one assist. Freshman Axel Rodrigues-Canel, called up from the JV, put the exclamation point on a virtuoso performance with 5:24 remaining on a cold, crisp, 37-degree morning.

“I don’t like the cold,” Arreola said. “Scoring goals keeps me warm, running around. I played the best soccer I’ve played in a long time today.”

Actually, Arreola and the Tuckers were more than warm. They were hot.

“The first 40 minutes was some of the best soccer that you can possibly watch, not even just from our own team,” Mattituck coach Mat Litchhult said. “It was our best 40 minutes. I was really, extremely proud of the ways the guys came out and dealt with the cold, got up early. From the opening whistle, they were dominant.”

Litchhult felt the loss to Livonia was part of his senior-laden team’s motivation.

“Being here as sophomores and the feeling of going home after the semifinals really pushed them and drove them,” he said. “Knowing that most of these guys are seniors and knowing the end is near you just have to leave it on the field. What we talked about before the match, these are great opportunities and big players rise to big occasions. I can’t point to somebody on our team who had a down match. Every single player that stepped on the field rose to the occasion.”

The Tuckers made quick work of the Lakers. Walter Jacob, a left back, scored off an Arreola pass at 8:20. Paul Hayes headed in a Kaan Ilgin corner kick at 12:58. Arreola put home a John Batuello feed from the top of the penalty area at 27:07 before James Hayes headed home a Kevin Williams corner kick at the right far post at 29:06 and Arreola scored on a breakaway with 2:01 left in the half.

It was then left up to the defense and goalkeepers Ben Knowles and Nick Vitolano, who came on with 4:08 left, to secure the clean sheet.

Litchhult had to call a few audibles. Instead of attending the state banquet Friday night, the team ate at a local Italian restaurant.

“Litch wanted us to stay away from Skaneateles, just wanted to keep our heads away from them,” Paul Hayes said. “There were some Twitter battles. It was a smart call.”

The Tuckers were scheduled to eat breakfast in the same room of their hotel room Saturday morning, but Litchhult thought better of it and brought in bagels, bananas, water and Gatorade for the team to eat in their rooms.

“It is kind of a weird setup,” he said. “When you are a few doors down from the team you’re playing in the same hallway in the hotel, separated by maybe or door or two, it kind of leads to some awkward tension.

“I didn’t think it would be an opportunity for us to go down there and rub elbows with a team that we’re going to be stepping onto the field with in a couple of hours. It didn’t make a lot of sense to me.”

Unlike their some of their recent championship wins, the Tuckers did not celebrate after this one.

“It’s not over yet,” Paul Hayes said. “It’s great to win 6-0. I’m smiling. I’m happy, I’m speechless. But my goal is to win tomorrow.”

The Mattituck boys soccer team celebrates its 6-0 win over Skaneateles Saturday in the Class B state semifinals. (Credit: Michael Lewis)

The Mattituck boys soccer team celebrates its 6-0 win over Skaneateles Saturday in the Class B state semifinals. (Credit: Michael Lewis)

03/01/14 2:00pm
03/01/2014 2:00 PM

Mattituck/Greenport eighth-grader Jack Bokina (top) lost 8-7 in a 99-pound wrestleback match Saturday morning against Jacob Nolan. (Credit: Paul Wager)

One more win stood between Jack Bokina and the podium at the Division II New York State Wrestling Championships Saturday morning. An eighth-grader wrestling for Mattituck/Greenport, Bokina was aiming to become the first Tucker wrestler to finish all-state since 2007. (more…)

02/28/14 8:18pm
02/28/2014 8:18 PM

James Hoeg of Mattituck/Greenport went 1-2 in the 145-pound bracket of the Division II state championship Friday in Albany. (Credit: Paul Wager)

The New York State Wrestling Championships can be an unforgiving destination. The Mattituck/Greenport wrestling team, which sent a record seven wrestlers into the Division II tournament, experienced that in more ways than one Friday.  (more…)

11/16/13 11:14am
11/16/2013 11:14 AM

JIM ELLIS PHOTO | Mattituck’s Laurel Bertolas (13) and Shannon Dwyer (20) crash the net for a block attempt in the Tuckers’ match against Eden this morning at the Glens Falls Civic Center.

The Mattituck girls volleyball team is competing in the Class C state final four in Glens Falls this morning. The Tuckers will play six games in pool play, two against each opponent. The teams with the two best records after pool play advance to the state finals tomorrow.

Suffolk Times sports editor Bob Liepa is providing updates from Glens Falls:

Millbrook secured the other spot in tomorrow’s Class C final by eliminating Mattituck from contention. The Blazers won, 25-10 and 25-12, as Audrey Ouimet knocked down 5 kills and Meredith Dignan added 9 assists in the two games. Brittany Keenan went 12 for 12 serving, with 5 aces.

Shannon Dwyer had 3 kills and 1 block for Mattituck.

The result leaves Mattituck facing Voorheesville in two games for what is essentially a fight for third place. Both teams are 0-4.
Update: Mattituck dropped the first set against defending state champion Eden, 25-4 and the second game, 25-11 to fall to 0-2 in pool play.

Mattituck’s first two games were humbling. Eden breezed, 25-4 and 25-11, as Heather Holscher, Kaley Ballou and Meghan Ballou put away 5 kills apiece. Lainy Pierce provided the Raiders with 16 assists, 4 service aces and 1 dink.

The first game was so rough for the Tuckers that they served only five times, and Eden’s Kaley Ballou didn’t get to serve once.

After falling behind in the second game by 9-2 and then 14-4, Mattituck strung together 5 straight points, prompting Eden coach Stephen Pierce to call timeout.

Do you believe in miracles?

Not this time. Eden returned to form after the timeout. Samantha Burgio served strong down the stretch, registering 5 aces among the final 9 points her team ran off.

Eden served 45 for 49 in the two games; Mattituck went 14 for 16.

Eden went on to take two games from Voorheesville, 25-11 and 25-13, to secure a place in tomorrow’s final.

1st Update: At 7:48 a.m., the teams marched into the arena to the playing of Olympic-themed music and cheers of fans.

Mattituck has a tough schedule against Eden, Millbrook and Voorhessville. Eden has won four straight state championships, six in the last seven years, and a record 10 state titles, a remarkable record. Mattituck was 0-12 in its previous two appearances in the NYSPHSAA Championships.

Public-address announcer:

“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Glens Falls and the 2013 girls volleyball championships.”

Nicole L’Hommedieu of Mattituck was presented a Sportsmanship award.

Mattituck’s first match is against defending state champion Eden. In the first match, Millbrook won the first two games over Voorheesville, 25-15 and 25-14.

Mattituck has a tough schedule against Eden, Millbrook and Voorhessville. And the Tuckers’ first two games were not going to be easy against Eden. It could be argued that Eden has the most successful girls volleyball program in New York State. Eden has won 14 successive sectional titles, four straight state championships, six in the last seven years, and a record 10 state titles, a remarkable record.