07/04/15 1:22pm
07/04/2015 1:22 PM
Shoreham-Wading River graduate Ryan Udvadia ('14) won the annual July 4 5K race Saturday morning. (Credit: Joe Werkmeister)

Shoreham-Wading River graduate Ryan Udvadia (’14) won the annual July 4 5K race Saturday morning. (Credit: Joe Werkmeister)

Longtime Shoreham-Wading River track coach Bob Szymanski stood alongside three of his most successful runners Saturday morning. The trio — John Lee, Ryan Udvadia and Matt Gladysz — had just crossed the finish line of the annual SWR July 4 5K in Shoreham when Szymanski pointed out an interesting tidbit.

Standing together, the three friends represented the last five county champions in varsity cross country.  (more…)

06/30/15 9:58pm
06/30/2015 9:58 PM
Shoreham-Wading River's Megan Kelly leaves a Port Jefferson defender in her wake as she moves the ball up the field. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)

Shoreham-Wading River’s Megan Kelly leaves a Port Jefferson defender in her wake as she moves the ball up the field. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)

It’s hard to believe for a soccer player with such good field vision, but Megan Kelly doesn’t have peripheral vision in her right eye.

During a game four years ago, while a defender cleared a ball, it pegged Kelly in the face, causing the vision loss. As bad as it was, it was close to being even worse.

“I was really lucky that it wasn’t my permanent eyesight,” she said. “It was like, I don’t even know, millimeters away from losing full vision.”

Kelly wore goggles for a while, but not any more. The loss of the peripheral vision, she said, doesn’t affect her game.

It sure doesn’t seem like it has. Last year the Shoreham-Wading River High School standout was named to the all-state team as a junior.

Kelly is a dynamic forward who can play any of the field positions. A joy to watch on the soccer field, she has the foot skill and the speed to tear opposing defenses apart.

A fine example of what Kelly can do was seen Tuesday evening when the Wildcats kicked off their Town of Brookhaven Summer League season. After collecting a pass from Sarah Stietzle, Kelly charged forward in fluid motion. Nudging the ball from one side to another and operating on instinct, she evaded Port Jefferson defenders and then slipped the ball between the legs of a final defender, Alexa Wakefield, before depositing a shot under Port Jefferson goalkeeper Brianna Scarda in the 28th minute.

Pretty slick stuff.

Asked for an assessment, Kelly conceded, “It was pretty good.”

It was the second goal in Shoreham’s 5-0 blanking of a shorthanded Port Jefferson team at the Patchogue-Medford Youth Soccer Complex in Medford.

“Her foot skill is like awesome,” Shoreham center midfielder Sam Higgins said. “She’s definitely one of the best players on the field and I really look up to her. The way that she can outrun people, it’s pretty awesome.”

It was quite a performance by Kelly, who scored twice from five shots. She might have had another goal, but Scarda did well to push one of her shots off the top of the crossbar.

The Wildcats didn’t have any trouble against Port Jefferson, which started the game with nine players, was reduced to eight for a while in the first half because of injury, and played shorthanded the entire 60-minute match.

Second-half goals were supplied by Grace Blomberg (assisted by Rachel Suarez), Sophia Triandafils (assisted by Higgins) and Alessi Rikkimarie, who landed a shot in moments after sending an attempt off the crossbar.

The Wildcats held a 21-1 shots advantage. Their goalkeeper, Lydia Kessel, didn’t touch the ball until the 49th minute when a teammate gave her a back pass. Kessel’s only other two touches were also from back passes.

At various times during the game, Kelly played center midfielder, defense or forward. It’s all good with her.

“I just always have fun when I’m on the field, no matter where I am,” she said.

Kelly, a varsity player since her freshman year, will play in college. She has committed to Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, an NCAA Division II school.

“It’s my last year of high school ball,” she said. “It’s crazy. It is hard to believe.”

The Wildcats are a young bunch. Aside from Kelly, the only other incoming seniors on the summer team’s 23-player roster are Makayla Meeker, Victoria Stirpe and Suarez.

As a senior leader, Kelly said she feels an added responsibility this year.

“The whole game is changing this year,” she said. “We’re relying on different players to make wins happen, so now we have to really stand up on the field and help the younger girls because we’re such a young team now.”

bliepa@timesreview.com

06/30/15 5:00pm
Riverhead pitcher Jake Reinhardt, coming off knee surgery, ranked second in the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League with a 0.44 earned run average. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)

Riverhead pitcher Jake Reinhardt, coming off knee surgery, ranked second in the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League with a 0.44 earned run average. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)

Jake Reinhardt, a pitcher, had not played a baseball game in about a year. That’s a long time without baseball for a baseball player.

Then, when the time he had long waited for — the chance to finally play in a game again — had arrived, he was put at, would you believe it, first base.  (more…)

06/29/15 8:11pm
06/29/2015 8:11 PM
Darwin Villatoro scored two goals for the Blue Waves in Monday's summer league win. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)

Darwin Villatoro scored two goals for the Blue Waves in Monday’s summer league win. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

A familiar theme emerged in recent years around the Riverhead boys soccer team. After coming together in late August for the start of practices, the players would work themselves into shape, coaches would begin instructing fundamentals, all while preparing for a rapidly approaching season.

When the games arrived, the team often wasn’t ready just yet. And by the time things began to click in the later part of the season, it was too late.

Now, the Blue Waves hope to break that trend.  (more…)

06/29/15 2:37pm

RIVERHEAD RACEWAY ROUNDUP

It took two days to get the Hoosier Tire 200 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race in the books this past weekend at Riverhead Raceway. After numerous rain delays that forced the race to be moved from Saturday evening to Sunday afternoon, and then after fighting off three rain delays on Sunday, the race was finally completed, with Justin Bonsignore of West Islip standing in victory lane.

Just as the cars rolled to the track Saturday for the 200-lapper, the rains moved in. Attempts to dry the track were in vain and the race was moved to Sunday afternoon. (more…)

06/26/15 8:58pm
06/26/2015 8:58 PM
North Fork second baseman Kyle Colletta tags out Riverhead's Tyler Osik, who tried to steal in the seventh inning. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)

North Fork second baseman Kyle Colletta tags out Riverhead’s Tyler Osik, who tried to steal in the seventh inning. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)

OSPREYS 3, TOMCATS 1

It’s not even July yet, and it appears as if the dog days of summer have arrived in the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League.

Keen-eyed observers are noticing signs of wear and tear taking their toll on players not accustomed to playing such a congested schedule of games. With teams just about halfway through a grueling 42-game schedule, managers are seeing players battling the grind, the heat and the humidity. The league has a busier June schedule than usual, noted the Riverhead Tomcats manager, Randy Caden. (more…)