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Ward Melville Patriots

Ward Melville senior Robert Hauss pushes up-field in the Suffolk class AAA final against Brentwood. Photo by Bill Landon

By Bill Landon

The Patriots of Ward Melville (No. 3) entered the final round of the Suffolk Class AAA championship soccer game against undefeated Brentwood, who had an 18-0 record and were looking to keep their spotless season intact. 

Patriots senior midfielder Wilman Castellon was the spark for their offense when he drilled a scissor kick that stretched the net giving Ward Melville the lead with eight minutes left in the opening half. 

Brentwood, finding itself in the unusual position of trailing at the halftime break, got down to business. In keeping the pressure upfield and scoring three unanswered goals, they clinched the Suffolk Class AAA championship game, 3-1, at Patchogue-Medford High School Thursday Nov. 2. 

Ward Melville senior goalkeeper David McElroy had two saves in net.

Ward Melville wrapped up its 2023 campaign with an impressive 13-3-2 record, concluding the varsity careers of its 15 seniors.

The Ward Melville Patriots hosted the Northport Tigers in the semi-final round and managed to stay within striking distance through the first two quarters of play, looking to avenge their one-point loss to the Tigers earlier in the season, but faltered in the second half.

Northport freshman Luke Loiacono with a dominant performance beyond his years, topped the scoring chart for the Tigers with five goals along with an assist with teammate Luca Elmaleh’s three goals proved too much for the Patriots slamming the door for the 13-4 victory, Wednesday afternoon May 24.

Northport senior goalie Mike Tittman had 12 saves on the day.

Ward Melville rattled off four unanswered goals before the Longwood Lions found the net in the final minutes of the second quarter in the Suffolk Division I quarterfinals on a wet Saturday afternoon. The Patriots held Longwood to a single goal the rest of the way as they cruised to a 10-2 victory punching their ticket to the semi-final round.

Seniors Nik Barbero and Andrew Belli both scored twice as did Brody Morgan. Filling out the scoreboard were teammates Jaron Popp, Aidan Valeiko, Stephen Rosano and Madden Murphy, who each found the back of the net. Goalie Charlie Giachetti had 10 saves on the day.

The win lifted the Patriots to 13-4 who faced Northport, the No.3 seed, at home Wednesday May 24. Results were not available at press time.

With two games of the inaugural flag football season left, the Patriots of Ward Melville (5-1-1), in second place one game behind top seeded Patchogue, hosted the Sharks of Eastport-South Manor (3-4) in a League II matchup May 9. 

The Patriots struck first when sophomore Julia Dank broke free and went the distance for the score 10 minutes into the opening half followed by a touchdown pass from Kaitlyn Lawrence to Lydia Cuff to make it a two-score game. Eastport-South Manor answered when they scored with 16 seconds left and with the point after, trailed 12-7 at the halftime break. Dank scored again to open the second half on a 22-yard run but again Ward Melville failed at the point after attempt, to edge ahead 18-7. Both teams traded touchdowns late in the game, but Ward Melville slammed the door shut winning 25-13.

The Patriots retake the field May 11 with a road game against William Floyd before post season play begins Tuesday, May 16. 

Ward Melville broke out to a three nothing lead in the opening quarter thanks to a pair of goals by Nik Barbero along with teammate Stephen Rosano, who scored with minutes left in the opening quarter, but the Patriots soon saw that lead evaporate. Connetquot surged back rattling off three unanswered goals to close out the first half making it a new game. Ward Melville trailed 7-6 to open the final 12 minutes of play but Ward Melville outscored their visitors to close out regulation with both teams deadlocked at nine goals each forcing overtime. With 55 seconds left in the overtime period it was the hat trick by Barbero that decided the game when his shot found its mark to win the game, 10-9, Saturday, April 15 in the Division I matchup.

Rosano topped the scoring chart for the Patriots with two goals and two assists. Barbero followed with his three goals, and Trevor Murray and Zach Brittman each scored along with one assist. Ward Melville goalie Charlie Giachetti, a senior, had a busy day in net where he tallied 13 saves. 

The win lifts the Patriots to 5-0 in their division 5-2 overall. The Patriots retook the field Wednesday, April 19 with a road game against Middle Country at Newfield High School. Results were not available at press time. 

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The Patriots of Ward Melville were behind by four goals to open the fourth quarter of play in a home game against Garden City on a rainy Saturday afternoon when the Patriots exploded with five goals in the final minutes of play to tie the game at 7-all, forcing overtime play.  

The game’s outcome wasn’t settled in the first overtime period or the second. The third OT period expired with no winner when Garden City scored the game-winner of the fourth overtime period to win the non-league contest, 8-7. 

Ward Melville seniors AJ Folkman and Nik Barbero each scored along with one assist. Seniors Andrew Belli, Trevor Murray and Jaron Popp each scored, as did juniors Brody Morgan and Stephen Rosano. 

The loss drops the Patriots to 2-2 in this early season and will retake the field Tuesday with an away game against Bay Shore before returning home April 12 to host Sachem North. Game time is slated for 4:15 p.m.

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Ward Melville, the No. 3 seed found themselves in an uphill battle against Walt Whitman, the No. 2 seed in the Suffolk Class AA semifinal game Feb 22.

Whitman’s relentless defense keyed on Patriot point guard Julia Greek who ranks 14th in the county in scoring, according to Newsday, averaging 17.1 points per game limiting the senior to just eight points. The Patriots trailed by 21 points at the half, a deficit they were unable to erase falling to Whitman, 63-38, at Longwood High School.  

Ward Melville senior Kyra Gianelli topped the scoring chart for the Patriots with 12 points and Grace Balocca netted seven.

The Patriots concluded their 22-23 campaign with an impressive 15-2 record in their division 16-5 overall.  

Ward Melville senior point guard Julia Greek made history during the Suffolk Class AA quarterfinal playoff game between Ward Melville and Centereach, scoring her 1,000th career point before her home crowd on Saturday, Feb. 18.

The game’s outcome was a toss-up as both teams deadlocked at 45-45 with 1:49 left in regulation. But the Patriots were successful in containing the Cougars’ last-minute surge. 

Ahead by three points in the final 30 seconds, Centereach had no choice but to foul Greek to stop the clock. The senior made the Cougars pay at the charity stripe, securing a 54-46 victory and leading her team to the semifinal round.

Greek again led the way in scoring for the Patriots with four field goals, two triples and eight free throws for 22 points on the day. Grace Balocca added 15, and Catie Edson netted eight.

Centereach freshman Hayley Torres topped the scoring chart for the Cougars with 19 points. Sophomore Meaghan Grieco netted 15, and senior Alexandra Madrigal added six. Centereach concluded its 2022-23 campaign with a respectable 12-8 record.

The third-seeded Patriots will face second-seeded Walt Whitman on Wednesday, Feb. 22, at Longwood High School. Gametime is set for noon. Tickets for the game can be purchased at gofan.co/app/school/NYSPHSAAXI.

— Photos by Bill Landon

The Patriots of Ward Melville (12-2) went on the attack Feb. 6 against Bellport, fueled by Julia Greek’s perimeter shooting in a Division II matchup. Tied for first place in the division, the Patriots powered their way past Bellport for the 75-55 win looking to bolster their postseason seeding.  

Greek, no stranger to the top of the scoring chart scored four triples, five field goals and three free throws for 25 points. Catie Edson followed with 15 points and Kyra Gianelli banked 13.  

The win lifts the Patriots first place in the division with one game remaining before postseason play begins Feb. 14.

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The Ward Melville Patriots went into the halftime break protecting a six-point lead in a home game against William Floyd, but the Colonials pressed in the fourth quarter to lead by one with 13 seconds left in regulation. Ward Melville inbounded the ball but was unable to find the net, falling to Floyd 54-51 in the League 2 matchup Jan. 6.  

Teammates Lorenzo Velez and Neelesh Raghurama led the Patriots in scoring with ten points apiece. Junior Lorenzo Beaton added 9 , and 11th grader Devin Lynch netted 8. 

The loss drops Ward Melville to 3-3, as Floyd remains atop the league 2 standings at 7-0. 

The Patriots look to get back in the win column with a road game against Patchogue-Medford Jan. 10. Game time is 6:45 p.m.