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Port Jefferson Royals

Loose ball. Bill Landon photo

Being one of the smallest schools in Suffolk County, when the Lady Royals of Port Jeff play an early season nonleague game, they always face a team from a larger school district. This was the case Friday afternoon with a home game against Miller Place. 

Having lost perennial scoring threats to graduation, Port Jeff’s roster features only one senior as the Lady Royals had their hands full, falling to the Panthers 47-22 in the Dec. 8 matchup.

Returning starter Ava Zicchinelli for Miller Place was the offensive spark for the Panthers, leading her team with 14 points followed by Brooke Callaghan, who banked nine. Sophia Ingenito netted seven.

Rose Meliker-Hammock scored three from the floor and three from the free throw line for nine points for the Royals.

Port Jeff (0-2) retakes the court with another nonleague matchup Saturday, Dec. 16, with a road game against West Islip. Game time is scheduled for 10 a.m.

The Panthers (2-4) face one more nonleague matchup at home to Pierson/Bridgehampton Dec. 20 before league play begins with a home game against Harborfields Thursday, Jan. 4, with tipoff at 5:30 p.m.

Port Jefferson, fresh off their Long Island championship sweep of East Rockaway two days earlier, looked to build on that momentum in the Southeast Regional final Saturday, Nov. 11, with home court advantage against Section IX winner Millbrook. The Royals hoped to make the trip back to Glens Falls for the NYS Class C championship final. It would have been the second year in a row, but it wasn’t to be as Port Jeff fell to Millbrook 25-23, 25-17, 25-15.

During the season, seniors Olivia Sherman and Erin Henry were the one-two punch for the Royals with Henry charting 13th in the county with 169 kills and Sherman placing 15th with 161 kills, as reported by Newsday. Sherman clocked in at No. 4 in the county with 57 service aces; Thea Mangels, a freshman, was No. 8 with 51; and sophomore McKayla Pollard No. 12 with 48.

The Royals conclude their 2023 campaign with a 17-3 record and will be a force to be reckoned with next season as they lose just three seniors to graduation.

— Photos by Bill Landon

It rained on Port Jefferson’s Homecoming football game Saturday afternoon in more ways than one, as a steady downpour fell on the grass field in the matchup against Center Moriches. 

The visitors broke the ice in the opening quarter, finding the end zone on short yardage and finishing it with a 2-point conversion for the early lead. Port Jeff quarterback Ryan Filippi answered back when he punched into the end zone on a keeper from 7 yards out, but the point after kick struck the left upright. Center Moriches found the end zone again with two minutes left in the half to make it a two-score game. 

Neither team was able to gain traction in the second half as Port Jeff fell 16-6 as time ran out in the Oct. 14 Division IV clash.

The Royals (2-4) will look to put another “W” in the win column with a road game against Mattituck/Greenport/Southold Friday Oct. 20. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.

The Port Jefferson Royals had their hands full when Mattituck (8-1-2) paid a visit in a League IX matchup Friday afternoon, Oct. 6, when the Tuckers took command of the game early and never looked back. Holding the Royals scoreless, Mattituck’s potent offense would spread the wealth peppering the scoreboard with a 6-0 shutout victory. Royals’ starter freshman goalie Sam Matvya made seven saves.

The Royals (now 0-10 in league) have four games remaining in the regular season in search of that elusive first win.

— Photos by Bill Landon

Port Jefferson had its hands full when the Royals hosted the Tornadoes of Harborfields Sept. 21 in a League III matchup where they found themselves down two goals at the halftime break. Harborfields’ junior Alexandra Fiumara found the right corner of the net off a rebound within four minutes followed by Lila Porzio at the 22-minute mark.

The Royals struggled to keep the ball upfield in the second half when Harborfields’ seniors Meaghan Fealy and Alanna Ratti both found the net to close out the game with a 4-0 victory.

Port Jeff goalie Rose Meliker-Hammock had 13 saves on the day and Harborfields’ keeper Keira Collins stopped 3.

The win lifted Harborfields to 5-2 on the season while the Royals fell to 1-5.

– Photos by Bill Landon

The Lady Royals of Port Jefferson, the defending class C Long Island Champions, continued their winning ways when they opened their season at home against the Greenport/Southold Clippers Thursday, Aug. 31. 

With Port Jeff handily winning the first two matches, the Clippers wouldn’t go quietly as they threatened late in the third match, trailing by two points in the set and desperately trying to force a game four. 

The Royals settled in for the final few points in the game to sweep Greenport 25-11, 25-9, 25-22 in this League VII matchup.

Senior co-captain Olivia Sherman led the way with 11 kills as sophomore McKayla Pollard had two blocks and five kills. Lina DeLeo, a freshman, killed three. Libero Ava Reilly had 14 digs, and teammate Bianca Nakagawa notched 18 assists.

The Lady Royals retake the court for another home game against Babylon on Sept. 7, with first service scheduled for 5 p.m.

– Photo by Bill Landon

Port Jeff had its hands full when the 11-2 Hauppauge boys lacrosse team came knocking. In the Royals’ final game of the season, they fell to the Eagles 11-6 Saturday morning, May 13.

Freshman Rowan Casey notched three goals. Ryan Filippi and Patrick Johnson scored, and senior Jonah Pflaster also stretched the net in the Div. II matchup. Freshman goalie Owen Whiffen had a busy day in net with 17 saves.

The Royals conclude their 2023 campaign with wins against Bellport, North Babylon and Deer Park.

— Photos by Bill Landon

At 11-3, the Port Jefferson Royals — the defending Long Island champions — sat comfortably in second place, enjoying an 11-game winning streak. That is until the 3-10 Amityville Warriors came to town. 

In the second of a three-game series at Diamond in the Pines on Thursday, May 4, the Warriors snapped the Royals’ streak. The Warriors scored three runs in the top of the fourth inning, taking the lead. Port Jeff made a pitching change the following inning, but the bats went quiet, unable to rally back, falling to Amityville 7-3. 

Ruairi Rago managed the only hit for the Royals on the day while finding his way home. Teammate Natti Mullen crossed the plate twice. 

The deciding contest of this series took place the following afternoon, May 5, when each team put double-digit runs on the scoreboard. The Royals scored two more, though, winning the game 12-10 and taking two out of three games against the Warriors.

— Photos by Bill Landon

Royals notch first win over Bellport

Eager to pick up their first win of this early season, the Port Jefferson Royals did just that, winning 11-5 in a Div. II road game against Bellport on Thursday afternoon, April 20. 

The team’s young talent made its mark. Sophomore Ryan Filippi led the way for the Royals with four goals and three assists. Teammate Rowan Casey, a freshman, scored three goals and had two assists. Sophomore Patrick Johnston had three assists and scored. 

Senior Matthew Buonomo scored twice with an assist, and Jonah Pflaster also found the net. Port Jeff’s freshman goalie Owen Whiffen had 12 saves in net.

The Royals will look to make it two in a row with another road game on Monday, April 24, when they face Sayville (3-4) at 5:00 p.m.

— Photos by Bill Landon

The Lady Royals of Port Jefferson, the Suffolk Class C Long Island Championship title holders, advanced to the New York State semifinal round, where they matched up against Section IX champion Millbrook at Farmingdale State College.

Port Jeff faced a stout defense as Millbrook dominated the boards, converting missed shots into points while containing the potent Royal offensive senior corp of Lola Idir, Amy Whitman and Alexa Ayotte to just 27 points between them. 

Millbrook stretched their legs and outpaced the Royals, cruising to a 61-30 victory in the Saturday, March 11 contest.

Atop the leaderboard in Suffolk County’s scoring, Idir finished her varsity career in 4th place countywide, according to Newsday, with 70 field goals, 84 free throws and 83 triples while averaging 21­­.5 points per game. 

Port Jefferson concludes its 2022-23 campaign undefeated in their division at 12-0, with an impressive 16-3 overall record.

— Photos by Bill Landon