CLASS A SEMIFINALS | GOLDEN FLASHES 3, WILDCATS 0
As the No. 1 seed in the Class A bracket, the Sayville Golden Flashes earned a bye into the semifinals, giving them 11 full days off from their last regular season game until the playoffs.
The Golden Flashes needed only 3 1/2 minutes to score their first goal in a 3-0 victory over No. 4 Shoreham-Wading River Monday afternoon in Sayville, ending the Wildcats’ bid to play in their first county title game since 2006. Sayville advances to play either East Hampton or John Glenn Thursday for what would be the program’s fourth county title since 2001 if it wins.
The defending state champions, Sayville added a second goal in the 10th minute to immediately grab a two-goal lead. Sayville’s defense didn’t allow a shot on goal until nearly midway through the second half.
“For the first 15 minutes we played a little timid,” said Shoreham coach Andrew Moschetti. “We knew Sayville was going to be a good team. We knew it was going to be a tough game, but we kind of sat back for the first 15 minutes.”
Sayville’s first goal came from Jared VanBrunt after he converted in front a feed from Spencer Andrews, who beat a defender along the endline to set up the goal. VanBrunt controlled the pass just a few steps in front of the goal and knocked it with his left foot past Shoreham goalkeeper Evan Kearney.
Robert Hammerle added the second goal off a corner kick. The Wildcats couldn’t clear the ball out of the box and Hammerle finally got a foot on it to drive it into the net.
The Wildcats created more scoring opportunities in the second half, but still had only two shots on goal.
“It’s hard to find a weak spot on their team,” Moschetti said. “All around they’re a good team and they played well. There’s not many weaknesses that you can exploit.”
The Golden Flashes had several good chances in the first half to widen the gap even further. One shot hit a post and another hit the crossbar. VanBrunt came close to scoring a second goal when he headed a crossing pass from Cory Santangelo just over the net.
The Wildcats had a good chance early in the second half when Toni Domingues drove the ball into the box from deep on a free kick. Junior Greg Canellys got off a shot that went wide right.
Kearney had a terrific save for Shoreham late in the game when he dove to his right to stop a shot from Hammerle. The Flashes ended up scoring shortly after on a goal by Donaldo Ruiz-Alatorre.
Shoreham finishes the season 11-5-2. Sayville is 14-2-1.
“We’re going to take this as a learning experience for next year,” Moschetti said. “I got a bunch of kids coming back who now have been to the second round of the playoffs and we can’t say we haven’t been here before.”
Moschetti said he was proud of the team’s season, which featured a five-game win streak going into Monday’s game. The win streak came on the heels of a 5-0 loss to Glenn and 4-0 loss to East Hampton in consecutive games, at which point things could have spiraled down hill. Instead, the Wildcats won their remaining regular season games, including a crucial win against Westhampton that gave them home field advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
“They’re going to walk off the field with their heads up,” Moschetti said. “We accomplished our goal of making it past the first playoff game and we’ll build on that for next year.”