Tags Posts tagged with "Undefeated"

Undefeated

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Leah Dentale sends the ball back into Half Hollow Hills East's zone.

Last season, the Northport girls’ soccer team didn’t lose their first game until a 1-0 elimination loss in the Suffolk County Class AA semifinals. This season, the girls are on the same track, but this time they’re looking to take it all the way.

Victoria Colatosti controls the ball as she sends it to her feet. Photo by Desirée Keegan
Victoria Colatosti controls the ball as she sends it to her feet. Photo by Desirée Keegan

The visiting Tigers shut out previously undefeated Half Hollow Hills East, 2-0, Sept. 12, to secure their fourth straight win and third straight shutout. Last season, the girls had a shutout in every game leading up to their heartbreaking semifinal loss in a penalty shootout.

Still, the head coach saw plenty of room for improvement.

“There were moments of good stuff, but there were a lot of things that I think we need to work on,” Northport head coach Aija Gipp said after the game. “Today wasn’t our best showing. The result was good, but there was a disconnect between players this game.”

At the 9:49 mark of the first half, junior forward Victoria Colatosti scored on a penalty kick she was awarded after she was fouled on a breakaway. Three minutes later, senior forward Leah Dentale scored off a shot she hadn’t planned on taking.

“I got passed the ball, I turned around and was dribbling the ball to goal,” she said. “I was looking for a through ball to Victoria but it wasn’t there, so I took a shot and it went in.”

Heading into halftime leading 2-0, the coach knew they needed to pick up the intensity and switch the field more — or create more motion from side to side with both the ball and the players.

Emily McNelis intercepts a Half Hollow Hills East pass. Photo by Desirée Keegan
Emily McNelis intercepts a Half Hollow Hills East pass. Photo by Desirée Keegan

Switching the ball, junior midfielder Emily McNelis said, would not have happened if it wasn’t for senior center defender and co-captain Stephanie Rapp.

“I think we settled down — our defense helped us out and we started playing around Half Hollow Hills East,” McNelis said. “Leah’s goal, that was really pretty. The midfield started playing together and Steph Rapp started switching the ball, which was good. I think we just need to switch the ball more and take more outside shots.”

Although they didn’t score in the second half, the Tigers connected more, using their footwork to not only change directions and move the ball around, but also by successfully passing the ball to the open girl while moving up the field.

Dentale got an early opportunity less than a minute into the half, but her shot went wide. Colatosti also had another look when she dribbled through the defense and rocketed a shot to the center of the goal, but the chance was saved by the Half Hollow Hills East goalkeeper Morgan Novikoff.

Stephanie Rapp heads the ball out of Northport's zone. Photo by Desirée Keegan
Stephanie Rapp heads the ball out of Northport’s zone. Photo by Desirée Keegan

“Once we scored our penalty kick we knew it was ours and did what we normally do,” Rapp said. “We connected the passes well and we adjusted to the field together, because it was a little narrow. Although it took some time, we did it.”

Rapp thinks the current team may be even stronger than last season’s, and she’s not alone. While Gipp still thinks her team needs to work on its togetherness, she said she believes the girls have the potential to go far, and she knows the returners are hungry for redemption after West Islip knocked the Tigers out in the semifinals two years in a row.

“Our defense definitely held it together — they got the shutout again, so that definitely kept us in the game,” she said of her athletes. “They just need to make sure that the defense is connecting with the midfield and the midfield connects with the forwards and we’re moving as a team as the ball transitions. The group coming back is really strong, the girls play great, they’re motivated this year and they have a championship in their sights. We want to get to the county finals.”

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Junior running back Jason Guevara rushes up the field during practice. Photo by Bill Landon

By Bill Landon

Shoreham-Wading River hasn’t lost a football game since November 2013 when the Wildcats fell to their then-nemesis Babylon. Now, the team begins the 2016 campaign protecting a 24-game winning streak. The Wildcats’ winning ways will be tested after losing 18 seniors to graduation, and will have to lean on some unproven talent to keep the streak alive.

Junior quarterback Noah Block hurls the ball up the field during practice. Photo by Bill Landon
Junior quarterback Noah Block hurls the ball up the field during practice. Photo by Bill Landon

Matt Millheiser is entering his seventh year as the head coach of the Wildcats, which have amassed a 44-17 record through six seasons of play, even despite his first season at the helm resulting in an 0-8 finish. In his second year, Millheiser turned his team around, posting a winning 6-3 season and helping send his team to the playoffs the very next year.

“From the beginning, the idea was to just play good football and not worry about wins and losses, but we as coaches go out and coach, teach the kids to love the game,” Millheiser said. “That caught on and that bled over into the offseason by [the kids] working out and coming into summer practices. The more they enjoyed the game, the more they played the game and got better.”

From there, he led the Wildcats to consecutive winning seasons with 7-3 records in 2012 and 2013 before his team ran the table with a pair undefeated seasons, as well as back-to-back Long Island championships, making history along the way.

The Wildcats will lean on senior Kevin Cutinella, the returning starting quarterback, who will have to survey the field to see who will be stepping up to fill the void left by the 18 departed players.

“There’s a lot more team bonding that has to be done this season because we lost so many seniors who were big impact players,” Cutinella said. “We have to get the chemistry to where it was last year with those players.”

Dean Stalzer, a senior tackle on both sides of the line of scrimmage, said the preparation was not all that different from last season.

Junior running back and defensive back Kyle Boden breaks up a play during practice. Photo by Bill Landon
Junior running back and defensive back Kyle Boden breaks up a play during practice. Photo by Bill Landon

“We’re putting in the same amount of work as we did last year; the new seniors this year have got to step it up and to be the captains that they were,” Stalzer said regarding this season’s and last year’s leadership. “It’s early yet, and we’re not coming out like a championship team, but I like what I see. I think we’re looking good.”

The team’s 24 consecutive victories is not openly discussed, according to senior running back and defense back Chris Gray.

“The coaches aren’t talking to us about this win streak, but it’s definitely in the backs of our minds so we want to keep it going as long as we can,” he said, “Preparing for this season there’s a lot of stress on doing the little things correctly. We’re putting 100 percent effort into everything we do — that’s what the coaches have been stressing throughout practice.”

Cutinella said he’s looking forward to the league season opener at home on Sept. 9 under the lights on the new field that bears his brother’s name — the Thomas Cutinella Memorial Field. Kickoff for that game against Center Moriches is scheduled for 7 p.m.

“I can’t wait,” he said. “Two weeks from now we’ll be on the new field, and it’ll be great to play with all of the players that I’ve played with since I was 4 years old.”

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Port Jefferson's Matteo DeVincenzo, left, grapples with his Locust Valley opponent Hunter Dusold in the New York State finals matchup. DeVincenzo edged out Dusold, 2-1, for his second state championship crown. Photo by Luci DeVincenzo

Matteo DeVincenzo felt relieved.

As the clock wound down and the whistle blew, the 126-pound Port Jefferson powerhouse put another state championship title in the record books with a 2-1 victory over Locust Valley’s Hunter Dusold.

Matteo DeVincenzo hugs head coach Mike Maletta after earning his second New York State championship crown. Photo by Luci DeVincenzo
Matteo DeVincenzo hugs head coach Mike Maletta after earning his second New York State championship crown. Photo by Luci DeVincenzo

“I expected to win, so it wasn’t surprising, but it felt good,” DeVincenzo said. “Overall, I wrestled real solid and dominated up until the finals.”

That focus and determination from day one led the Royal to an undefeated season. DeVincenzo was 32-0 heading into the state championship bracket. The first upstate challenger he faced he topped 12-2; the second match, a Section X grappler, he ruled over 9-1; the third, a Section III opponent he outscored 8-4. The finals win against Dusold capped it all off for a perfect 36-0 season.

“This whole year has been about domination and preparation, so I’d say no matter where I was in the bracket I would’ve had the same outlook,” he said.

But the senior and his coaches Mike Maletta, Ian Schneider and Nick Miceli were happy to see him avenge his state semifinal loss from last season, to once again stand atop the New York podium.

“This was really his last time wrestling in New York so we knew of the significance of it and it being special,” head coach Maletta said. “Matteo is one of the best of the best. He was unstoppable.”

Schneider, the team’s assistant coach, said being just 23 years old and having the opportunity to coach in the state championship was a phenomenal feeling.

Port Jefferson's Matteo DeVincenzo, right, sizes up his competitor Hunter Dusold of Locust Valley. Photo by Luci DeVincenzo
Port Jefferson’s Matteo DeVincenzo, right, sizes up his competitor Hunter Dusold of Locust Valley. Photo by Luci DeVincenzo

“It was absolutely incredible to watch him do what he does best on the wrestling mat,” he said. “It was exciting, it was nerve-racking, it was all the emotions that ended joyously with him coming out on top. I may not ever coach a kid of his caliber in any sport again. I hope to have that, but he’s one of a kind and he’s something else as a person, as an individual and as a wrestler. He’s one of those rare gems that are out there. It was an absolute honor to coach him.”

Besides the four-time Suffolk County and two-time Eastern States champion, the Royals also sent two other wrestlers to Albany.

Sophomore 120-pounder Joe Evangelista and freshman 99-pounder Ricky D’Elia garnered some extra experience battling the bracket. Evangelista, a three-time All-County wrestler who became a county champion this year and finished with a 22-10 record, had to battle two tough All-State kids. D’Elia, who ended the season 25-7, made a couple of mistakes in a 5-3 first-round loss that sent him to the wrestlebacks.

“For their first time, it was cool for them to see the process for themselves and for Matteo,” Maletta said.

Matteo DeVincenzo has his arm raised by the referee after winning his New York State championship finals matchup. Photo by Luci DeVincenzo
Matteo DeVincenzo has his arm raised by the referee after winning his New York State championship finals matchup. Photo by Luci DeVincenzo

Although DeVincenzo will take one final trip with his coach, and D’Elia, to Virginia for nationals, but then the senior star is taking his talents to the mats of Princeton University. In college-level wrestling he will join his older brother, Tristin, who wrestles at the University of Pennsylvania, and another former Royal, Paul Cavanagh, who competes for the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

The Royals had 11 All-County wrestlers this season. In addition to the three who traveled upstate, Brendan Rodgers, Robbie Williams, Vin Miceli, Joe Longo, Alex Frohnen, Dallas Brett, Jack Collins and Ryan Walsh all earned the accolade.

“I’m proud of what we’re doing here at Port Jeff and people notice us — from the biggest school in Suffolk County to the smaller schools that we wrestle with,” Maletta said. “They know if they’re competing against a kid with a Port Jeff singlet, they’re going to be prepared.”

Seven of those 11 will be returning to the roster next season. And with a young squad that will not soon graduate, the Royals expect only to gain players over the next two seasons.

“We’re moving in the right direction,” Schneider said. “Our middle school program has a bunch of kids where we’ve lacked in the upper weight classes, so when we can fill out the lineup we’ll be that much harder to beat.”

Maletta has enjoyed his time with his grand grappler, and hopes for even bigger and better things in the future.

“I’m 45 years old and there’s been great days in my life — getting married and having kids — but putting on my suit and heading down to see Matteo be crowned a state champion was pretty special, and I’m thankful that Matteo was brought into our lives and into our wrestling room at Port Jeff,” he said. “We put a lot of effort into this and I’m aware that many coaches don’t get to coach a Matteo. I’ve been coaching for 20 years and this is a kid that will be linked with me forever.”

Matteo DeVincenzo stands atop the 126-pound competitors. Photo by Luci DeVincenzo
Matteo DeVincenzo stands atop the 126-pound competitors. Photo by Luci DeVincenzo

Head coach Andrew D’Eloia speaks to his team during a timeout. File photo by Bill Landon

Head coach Andrew D’Eloia has brought the Northport boy’s basketball team to its first undefeated season.

D’Eloia is in his fourth year as head coach, but he is no stranger to the halls and basketball courts at Northport High School. He graduated from Northport in 1991 and played as point guard for the boy’s basketball team.

“I’m extremely familiar with the district,” D’Eloia said in a phone interview. “I wanted to be able to give back to the community. The Northport High School basketball team did a lot for me, to help me develop — it taught me discipline, teamwork and investing in a common goal.”

D’Eloia now lives in Huntington with his family and owns AD Hoops Training, a basketball training business in Brooklyn.

Before coming back to Northport, he worked as an assistant coach at various institutions including Hunter College in Manhattan and Bishop Ford Central Catholic High School in Brooklyn. He was then offered the assistant coach job at Northport High School and D’Eloia jumped at the opportunity.

Head coach Andrew D’Eloia speaks to his team during a game. File photo by Bill Landon
Head coach Andrew D’Eloia speaks to his team during a game. File photo by Bill Landon

After a year as assistant coach, D’Eloia became head coach, and while he said he didn’t want to bring any major changes to the team, he did want to implement some new focus points.

Among his ideas, he said he wanted to encourage the boys to set up a plan for the off-season, to stay in the best shape they could. He said he believes this helped the team’s bond become even stronger.

“The team chemistry is phenomenal,” he said. “This is one of the best teams I’ve been around in terms of the element of camaraderie, and it’s one of the most unselfish groups as well.”

Since taking over as head coach in 2012, the boy’s record is 72-14, they have won 18 playoff games and made it to the Suffolk County final four all four years. In 2013, the boy’s made it all the way to the state semifinals but fell to New Rochelle.

This was the first year since 1995 that the team has gone undefeated in the league, and D’Eloia credited that to the work of the entire team.

“They are coachable and they do right both on and off the court,” he said. “This is a team in every sense of the word.”

The head coach said that not only are the starting players key to the success of this season but also the supporting players, who have worked well to “conserve small minutes.”

Looking forward, D’Eloia said he hopes his team will continue to play at the highest level possible at every game and go as far as they can in the playoffs.

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Ward Melville's Victoria Tilley and Alex Stein grab a block at the net in the Patriots' 3-0 loss to Connetquot in the Suffolk County Class AA finals on Nov. 12. Photo by Bill Landon

By Bill Landon

It was a battle of the undefeated teams, but Ward Melville fell short. The Patriots girls’ volleyball team was able to power past Smithtown East but had trouble doing it again, and fell to No. 1-ranked Connetquot, 27-25, 25-18, and 25-20, Thursday in the Suffolk County Class AA finals.

Ward Melville senior Alex Stein scores a kill shot in the Patriots' 3-0 loss to Connetquot in the Suffolk County Class AA finals on Nov. 12. Photo by Bill Landon
Ward Melville senior Alex Stein scores a kill shot in the Patriots’ 3-0 loss to Connetquot in the Suffolk County Class AA finals on Nov. 12. Photo by Bill Landon

The Thunderbirds broke out to an early 10-4 lead, but the Patriots made it a one-point game later in the set to trail 19-18, forcing a Connetquot time out. Ward Melville scored next to tie the game at 19-19, but Connetquot rattled off five more points to surge ahead 24-21.

It was advantage Ward Melville when the Patriots scored the next four points to take a 25-24 lead, but the Thunderbirds were the No.1 seed for a reason, and dug out two more points to retake the lead, 26-25, and aced the final point to put the set away, 27-25.

“I felt like we got robbed in game one — I thought we had it but got a bad call there,” Ward Melville head coach Charles Fernandes said. “But I’ve got to be honest, I don’t think we played like we normally play. We didn’t pass very well and when we don’t pass well we don’t get into our offensive system.”

In a repeat of the first set, Connetquot broke out to a 10-4 lead and edged ahead 12-5 in the second set, before the team jumped out to a 20-8 lead. Ward Melville battled back to trail 22-14, and both teams traded points as Connetquot took the set to the brink, leading 24-14 before Ward Melville rattled off four unanswered points to trail 24-18. The Thunderbirds scored next though, to claim another set, 25-18.

Ward Melville junior Cierra Low sets the ball in the team's 3-0 loss to Connetquot in the Suffolk County Class AA finals on Nov. 12. Photo by Bill Landon
Ward Melville junior Cierra Low sets the ball in the team’s 3-0 loss to Connetquot in the Suffolk County Class AA finals on Nov. 12. Photo by Bill Landon

Fernandes spoke to his team following the second-set loss about what it took to battle back, being down two games to none.

“This has happened before — teams pull this out,” he told his team. “You’ve got to get the first one and that’s the hard one.”

With their backs against the wall, the Patriots broke out to an 8-2 advantage in the third set as the team tried to avoid elimination, but after a Connetquot time out, Ward Melville struggled to maintain the margin, and the Thunderbirds bounced back to tie the game 10-10.

Connetquot scored next to take its first lead, but the set was retied at 16-16 courtesy of a kill shot by Ward Melville senior outside hitter Alex Stein. The Thunderbirds edged ahead 20-17, then 22-19 and again brought the match to the brink leading 24-20.

Stein said that her team’s performance was not up to par with the level her team usually plays at.

“I don’t know if we were nervous, anxious or just all over the place mentally, but we did not click as a team,” she said. “Our defense was all over the place and it’s just not how we play.”

The Thunderbirds scored next to sweep the Patriots and advance to the Long Island Championship round against Massapequa, where the team beat the Nassau County champs for the Long Island championship title.

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Port Jefferson's Clare O'Connor kicks the ball behind a defender toward the goal in the Royals' 3-0 win over Haldane for the Southeast Regional title on Nov. 7. Photo by Desirée Keegan
Port Jefferson's Clare O'Connor kicks the ball behind a defender toward the goal in the Royals' 3-0 win over Haldane for the Southeast Regional title on Nov. 7. Photo by Desirée Keegan
Port Jefferson’s Clare O’Connor kicks the ball behind a defender toward the goal in the Royals’ 3-0 win over Haldane for the Southeast Regional title on Nov. 7. Photo by Desirée Keegan

By Desirée Keegan

These Royals continue to rule.

The Port Jefferson girls’ soccer team earned the regional crown on Saturday, topping Cold Spring’s Haldane High School, 3-0, to lengthen their undefeated streak and send them to the state stage.

Port Jefferson celebrates Jillian Colucco's goal in the Royals' 3-0 win over Haldane for the Southeast Regional title on Nov. 7. Photo by Desirée Keegan
Port Jefferson celebrates Jillian Colucco’s goal in the Royals’ 3-0 win over Haldane for the Southeast Regional title on Nov. 7. Photo by Desirée Keegan

That pivotal match came after a perfect season for the Royals in League VII, their second in a row. With no Class C Suffolk County challengers, the girls were named county champs and were sent to the regional finals, where they played the defending state champ.

“These girls play hard right to the end,” Port Jefferson head coach Allyson Wolff said about the Haldane match. “To come out here tonight and beat the last Class C state champion is huge for us and gives us that confidence to go upstate. I think we can do it this year.”

The regional victory is the Royals’ second consecutive title, and sends them to the state playoffs, where they fell last year.

Junior forward Jillian Colucci got the ball rolling for the Royals with 12:45 remaining in the first half. The co-captain received a pass up the middle from senior midfielder and co-captain Olivia Love, and chipped the ball to the left from 10 yards out. It just passed the Haldane goalkeeper’s outstretched arms, bouncing into the left corner for the 1-0 lead.

“My teammate Olivia Love — we have a chemistry that I can’t really describe, but I just knew she was going to play the ball … and as the ball bounced I told myself just to get a touch on it, since I saw the goalie coming out of the box,” Colucci said. “I think our possession and our communication was really good today, and we’re going upstate because of it.”

Port Jefferson's Jillian Colucci races downfield with a defender on her hip in the Royals' 3-0 win over Haldane for the Southeast Regional title on Nov. 7. Photo by Desirée Keegan
Port Jefferson’s Jillian Colucci races downfield with a defender on her hip in the Royals’ 3-0 win over Haldane for the Southeast Regional title on Nov. 7. Photo by Desirée Keegan

Opening the second half, sophomore goalkeeper Brianna Scarda made a save to maintain her team’s lead, and junior midfielder Brittany Fazin repaid her with another goal. After leading a pack of defenders and squeezing between two to get ahead at the front of the net, she sent her shot into the left corner past a diving Haldane goalkeeper for the 2-0 advantage.

“I was really scared for that moment because I had a similar opportunity earlier and missed it, but I knew going to it that I could do it,” Fazin said. “So I threw myself on the ball and got the goal.”

With 19:32 on the clock, Scarda made another one of her eight saves on the evening to preserve the clean sheet. Several minutes later, Fazin helped set up the next goal when she crossed a pass from the 20-yard line over to the right sideline 10 yards out from the net to Grace Swords, a sophomore forward, who crossed her shot high above the goalkeeper’s head and into the far left corner for the final score of the game.

Despite allowing three goals, Haldane’s goalkeeper, Sara Labriola, put in a lot of work — she made 19 stops on the evening.

Port Jefferson's Brittany Fazin maintains possession in the Royals' 3-0 win over Haldane for the Southeast Regional title on Nov. 7. Photo by Desirée Keegan
Port Jefferson’s Brittany Fazin maintains possession in the Royals’ 3-0 win over Haldane for the Southeast Regional title on Nov. 7. Photo by Desirée Keegan

“Leading up to this week we all focused so hard and we practiced as hard as we’ve ever practiced in our lives, and we had the mindset that we could to this,” Fazin said. “I think our speed and our vision helped us a lot. I think we were very good out of the air, too. I’m new to the school and to the team and this feels great. I love these girls.”

Colucci was also proud of her team’s outcome.

“There was so much anticipation going into this game because we had three weeks from our last league game until here, so it feels amazing to have our hard work pay off,” she said. “I think our possession and our communication was really good today.”

Although the game was slow to start, the Royals thrive on forward motion.

“Once that one goal kicked in, it got their momentum going, their fire burning and their confidence boosted,” Wolff said. “I said from the very beginning that they could do it and they prove it when they step on the field. They’re a great group of girls and it’s just a pleasure and an honor coaching this group. They have that drive and desire to win and hopefully we can do it upstate.”

Port Jefferson will take on Caledonia-Mumford on Saturday in the state semifinals at Cortland High School Field 1 at 5 p.m. If the Royals win, they will move on to play in the finals on Sunday, at 9:30 a.m. at SUNY Cortland’s Red Field.

Port Jefferson celebrates after its 3-0 win over Haldane for the Southeast Regional title on Nov. 7. Photo by Desirée Keegan
Port Jefferson celebrates after its 3-0 win over Haldane for the Southeast Regional title on Nov. 7. Photo by Desirée Keegan

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Shoreham-Wading River junior wide receiver Joe Miller dives for yardage in the Wildcats’ 42-13 win over Center Moriches to earn their second consecutive undefeated season. Photo by Bill Landon

By Bill Landon

Shoreham-Wading River senior wide receiver Jon Constant drags tacklers up the field in the Wildcats’ 42-13 win over Center Moriches to earn their second consecutive undefeated season. Photo by Bill Landon
Shoreham-Wading River senior wide receiver Jon Constant drags tacklers up the field in the Wildcats’ 42-13 win over Center Moriches to earn their second consecutive undefeated season. Photo by Bill Landon

Shoreham-Wading River hasn’t lost a football game since November 2013.

It was a second-round playoff game against Babylon, a team that had always derailed the Wildcats. But since last season, Shoreham’s new winning culture permeates every player who wears the blue and gold.

In eight games, Shoreham-Wading River has outscored its opponents 291-47. Saturday was no different, as the Wildcats defeated visiting Center Moriches, 42-13, for another perfect season and to win the League IV title for the second consecutive year.

Senior running back Chris Rosati has been the Wildcats’ powerhouse running back all season. He scored three touchdowns on the afternoon, but it might have been more if he had played the entire game.

Rosati’s first score came on the second play from scrimmage where he cut to the outside, turned up the field and went 59 yards into the end zone in a game that wasn’t even a minute old. Senior kicker Daniel Mahoney followed by doing what he’d done all season, splitting the uprights to give the Wildcats the early 7-0 lead.

Shoreham-Wading River found the end zone again six minutes later, when junior quarterback Kevin Cutinella threw to classmate Daniel Cassidy, a tight end, for six more points.

Shoreham-Wading River senior cornerback Kyle Fehmel leaps up for the interception of Center Moriches’ Hail Mary pass during the Wildcats’ 42-13 win over Center Moriches to earn their second consecutive undefeated season. Photo by Bill Landon
Shoreham-Wading River senior cornerback Kyle Fehmel leaps up for the interception of Center Moriches’ Hail Mary pass during the Wildcats’ 42-13 win over Center Moriches to earn their second consecutive undefeated season. Photo by Bill Landon

“We prepare for every game like it’s the last game — we play with heavy hearts and we play as hard as we can for [Tom Cutinella],” Cassidy said, referring to his teammate who died last year after taking a hit in a game against Elwood. “And we don’t take any team lightly.”

With Mahoney’s kick, the Wildcats took a 14-0 lead with 4:07 left to play in the first quarter.

The Red Devils were unable to run the ball, but moved the chains on two consecutive pass plays. It was not enough — after the team failed to make a fourth-down conversion, the Wildcats took over in their own end.

Rosati answered the call again. After seeing that the running lanes inside were closed, he bounced it outside and raced by two defenders with alarming speed. He covered 71 yards and again entered the end zone untouched.

“We’ve kept the momentum from last year,” Rosati said. “We work at it in practice and we work on both sides of the ball. On offense, we try to grind it out on every play and our linemen work so hard and they open the holes. On defense, we just fly around. We try to hold them to as few yards as possible.”

With Mahoney perfect on the day, the Wildcats broke out to a 21-0 advantage to open the second quarter.

Shoreham-Wading River senior running back Chris Rosati pushes for more yards as he’s tackled by a Center Moriches player during the Wildcats’ 42-13 win over Center Moriches to earn their second consecutive undefeated season. Photo by Bill Landon
Shoreham-Wading River senior running back Chris Rosati pushes for more yards as he’s tackled by a Center Moriches player during the Wildcats’ 42-13 win over Center Moriches to earn their second consecutive undefeated season. Photo by Bill Landon

Unable to move the chains, the Red Devils were forced to punt. With a long kick well down field, the Wildcats committed a rare miscue — after choosing not to field the kick, the ball bounced into a Shoreham-Wading River player and Center Moriches pounced on the live ball to recover its own punt.

Center Moriches senior quarterback Joe Martins connected with classmate Kyrin Taylor, a wide receiver, who made it to the 1-yard line for a first and goal. Senior running back Chris Iannelli finished it, but the extra-point attempt struck the left goal post, halting the score at 21-6.

On the Wildcats’ ensuing possession, Rosati struck again. This time the running back swept to his left, outran defenders and sped down the left sideline for his third touchdown of the afternoon. Again, Mahoney was money, and Shoreham-Wading River broke out to a 28-6 lead.

“Our goal is to shut out every team we play,” Rosati said.

Shoreham-Wading River senior running back Justin Squires makes a move during the Wildcats’ 42-13 win over Center Moriches to earn their second consecutive undefeated season. Photo by Bill Landon
Shoreham-Wading River senior running back Justin Squires makes a move during the Wildcats’ 42-13 win over Center Moriches to earn their second consecutive undefeated season. Photo by Bill Landon

The Red Devils had little success moving the ball again, and the Wildcats took over.

Senior wide receiver Jon Constant scored next on a reverse play, covering 40 yards for the score.

“The coach told us before the game to perform on each side of the ball,” he said. “Just shut out the [defense] and fly to the ball.”

With Mahoney’s foot, Shoreham-Wading River surged ahead, 35-6.

On their final possession of the first half, the Red Devils let the clock bleed off and called a timeout with two seconds left. Desperate for a score, Center Moriches dropped back and threw the Hail Mary deep down field, but Shoreham-Wading River senior cornerback Kyle Fehmel leapt up and grabbed the ball to end the half.

With both teams scoreless in the third quarter, senior running back Justin Squires lit up the scoreboard with 4:07 left in the game. On a handoff up the middle, Squires broke outside, found an open running lane and went 70 yards for the touchdown. With Mahoney’s chip shot, the Wildcats were out in front 42-6.

Center Moriches managed one more score with just under a minute left to close out the game, and with the extra-point good, it brought the final score to 42-13.

“I told the kids to just go out and finish — finish every play and let’s finish this season 8-0,” Shoreham-Wading River head coach Matt Millheiser said. “And then we can get ready for the second season.”

The top-seeded Wildcats will face No. 8 McGann Mercy on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Miller Place High School, as the home team, as construction of the Thomas Cutinella Memorial Field at Shoreham-Wading River nears completion.

The seniors of the Shoreham-Wading River football team pose for a photo after their second consecutive undefeated season. Photo by Bill Landon
The seniors of the Shoreham-Wading River football team pose for a photo after their second consecutive undefeated season. Photo by Bill Landon

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Port Jefferson junior forward Jillian Colucci controls the ball in a recent league game against Babylon. Photo by Desirée Keegan

The Royals have struck again.

Port Jefferson’s girls’ soccer team is undefeated in its league for the third time in four years, following a recent victory against Stony Brook, its seventh straight shutout win. That 8-0 result last week was the cap on a nearly perfect season, as the girls have lost only two games this year — their first two matches, both of them nonleague games in early September.

Their 12-0 record in League VII is a familiar one. The Royals went undefeated in league play last year and lost just one league game the year before. They also went undefeated in League VII three years ago.

The Royals have scored 68 goals in overall play this season, compared to just nine goals scored on them.

Likewise, the huge win over Stony Brook was just one of several: the Royals have shut out their opponent nine times this year, scoring five or more goals in most of those wins. In the three league games in which Port Jefferson did not shut out the competition, the girls still won by at least three goals.

In total, the Royals have given up only four goals to league challengers this year.

While Port Jefferson has two scrimmages coming up before the playoffs, the team is the top seed heading into the postseason.

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Kings Park's Jessica Hoyt tangles with an opponent. Photo by Desirée Keegan

One bolt of lightning cut short the Kings Park girls’ soccer team’s chances of remaining undefeated Friday afternoon.

Kings Park's Genevieve Carpenter breaks away with the ball. Photo by Desirée Keegan
Kings Park’s Genevieve Carpenter breaks away with the ball. Photo by Desirée Keegan

With 6:05 left on the clock, the referees saw lightning and immediately called the game as per Section XI rules, leaving Hauppauge ahead, 3-1, and ending the Kingsmen’s 12-game unbeaten streak.

“We’re playing very shorthanded — we’re down three starters, and they still played their butts off,” Kings Park head coach Bryan LoPalo said of his team. “We got girls filling in in positions they’re not comfortable in and they’re doing a pretty good job, but it’s a tough team that we just played.”

In the first half, with 21:53 left to play, senior forward and co-captain Genevieve Carpenter took a long shot from outside the right goal side, and as the Hauppauge goalkeeper came out of the box to make a save, the ball rolled past her and into the empty net for the early 1-0 lead despite Hauppauge dominating the time of possession up until that point.

Five minutes later, Hauppauge tied the game, 1-1, when Nicole Scudero scored off a foul kick. While Kings Park was still trying to set up blockers, Scudero saw an opportunity to take advantage of the Kingsmen’s scrambling and hit her mark with a straight shot to the top left corner of the net, past a diving Caroline Galdorisi.

Kings Park's Shakila Sevanan throws the ball into play. Photo by Desirée Keegan
Kings Park’s Shakila Sevanan throws the ball into play. Photo by Desirée Keegan

Coming into the second half like it was a new game, Carpenter had another early attempt, but couldn’t capitalize as her shot rebounded off the cage.

Again, minutes later, Hauppauge had its chance, but Lauren Mastandrea made sure her shot off a cross into the box just made it past a Kings Park defender who was guarding the goal after Galdorisi came out to attempt to make a save, giving the Eagles their first lead, 2-1.

With 6:22 left to play, Hauppauge made an attempt that was saved by Galdorisi but she couldn’t get a good grasp on the ball, and Scudero grabbed the rebound and sent it in for the 3-1 advantage. Galdorisi, a senior and co-captain, made nine saves on the evening.

“It’s a great team, they’re a very talented group, they’re just a little shorthanded right now and they’ll get it back together,” LoPalo said of his players. “They showed toughness, they showed heart. They don’t stop; they didn’t quit. We know what we’re doing, but it’s not our best game of the year.”

Kings Park's Noelle Perciballi winds up to strike the ball out of midfield. Photo by Desirée Keegan
Kings Park’s Noelle Perciballi winds up to strike the ball out of midfield. Photo by Desirée Keegan

Play was stopped just seconds later on account of the lightning, and with that it was up in the air as to whether or not Kings Park was still undefeated. As per Section XI on Tuesday, the results have officially counted. With the loss, the Kingsmen drop to 8-1-2 in League IV (9-1-3 overall) but are still top, while Hauppauge moves to second place (9-2-0).

Moving forward, LoPalo said he needs his team to remain healthy, in the hopes that it can make the playoff push he’s looking for.

“Hauppauge was giving us their all — they played hard and they played well,” LoPalo said. “But our goal is to be state champs. That’s always the goal. If we can stay healthy, we have a lot of ability and I think at this point in time, it’s just that our bench got shortened, so girls are playing more time than they really should have to.”

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Northport’s Sara Dube reached for the return. Photo by Bill Landon

By Bill Landon

The Northport Tigers took on perennial powerhouse Huntington Tuesday afternoon in girls’ tennis action at home in hot, windy conditions. With Huntington being the League II champions from last season, the Blue Devils were guessed to give it to Northport, but the Tigers hung on until the final and deciding match, where the Blue Devils escaped with a 4-3 victory to remain undefeated.

Huntington’s Abby Bellestri connects with the ball. Photo by Bill Landon
Huntington’s Abby Bellestri connects with the ball. Photo by Bill Landon

Due to the heat index, Tuesday’s match was an abbreviated 10-game pro set, where the first team to win 10 games wins the match, instead of the best two out of three sets of six, according to Northport head coach Peter Quinn.

Huntington singles standout, senior Emily Shutman, disposed of her opponent with ease, winning her match 10-0.

“It was hot, humid and very windy, but I served well and my opponent had difficulty handling that today,” she said. “My net play was really nonexistent — I didn’t have to come to the net, but I had a few drop shots that were pretty effective.”

Shutman added that she had to continually adjust her play to compensate for the wind, and that it was important to stay hydrated to avoid becoming lightheaded.

“I’ll do a lot of stretching and work on my stroke and just try to stay loose to get ready for John Glenn,” Shutman said as she begins to prepare for the next match.

Northport senior Allisa Risebrow won her singles match 10-5 but added that the glaring sun was a factor on the court.

“I had the sun in my eyes, so the conditions were [challenging],” Risebrow said. “It was so hot and windy that I had to read the wind; so depending on what side I was on, the wind was either pushing, or I had to push against it.”

Northport’s Lucy Jiang sends back a forehand shot. Photo by Bill Landon
Northport’s Lucy Jiang sends back a forehand shot. Photo by Bill Landon

Risebrow added that her opponent struggled charging the net, and she returned a lot of short balls to exploit that weakness.

Huntington head coach Jamie Fishlow said his team will be focusing on the fundamentals, and that the Blue Devils will need to improve from top to bottom if they want to remain league champs.

“We need to work on our doubles positioning, work on our footwork and just hitting the ball and to be consistent,” Fishlow said. “Emily [Shutman] has the best all-around game in singles play, but today was close, and Northport gave us a good match.”

Northport junior Gabrielle Schuck, who competed in doubles, said her team’s first match of the season was a struggle and that the conditions made it much more difficult.

“We fought through it, we kept going, but I had to sit down and take water breaks to avoid headaches,” Schuck said. “[Huntington is] the best team. We’ve lost to them many times, but today we were tied 3-3 and it went to the final match.”

Quinn said that Huntington is without question the team to beat in League II but was impressed with his team’s first match of the season.

“We played well, we did some good things, we moved well, but the heat and the wind was a factor,” the coach said. “It was a very good competitive first match of the season.”

With the win, Huntington improves to 3-0, while Northport dropped its season opener.

Huntington will host John Glenn today at 4 p.m., and Northport will travel to Walt Whitman today at 4 p.m., before hosting Hauppauge on Friday at 4 p.m.