09/10/13 7:46pm
09/10/2013 7:46 PM
GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Kenji Fujita, a former goalkeeper turned field player, scored the only goal in Southold's win over Shoreham-Wading River.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Kenji Fujita, a former goalkeeper turned field player, scored the only goal in Southold’s win over Shoreham-Wading River.


It was a good game for goalkeepers, current and former goalkeepers alike.

In an entertaining non-league boys soccer match that saw one goalkeeper turn in an exceptional performance and another goalkeeper save a penalty kick, it was a former goalkeeper of all people, Kenji Fujita, who scored the game’s only goal.

Fujita, a senior forward, struck a brilliant first-timer off a driven centering ball from Shayne Johnson with 8 minutes 13 seconds left in the first half, and the goal stood for Southold’s 1-0 victory over visiting Shoreham-Wading River on Tuesday.

It’s striking how well Fujita moves as field player. Then again, he is hardly new to playing the field. Although he was Southold’s No. 1 goalkeeper last year, he saw some time in the field and scored 3 goals. He played as an outside midfielder for his travel team, the Center Moriches Huskies, last spring, and also ran for Southold in a summer league.

In the meantime, Southold has a new first-string goalkeeper, John Charles Funke. The aggressive junior was outstanding in the Southold goal, making 8 saves for his first career shutout.

“He’s crazy,” Fujita said. “He has no concern for his body. He goes out there every day, just a hundred percent.”

When Shoreham-Wading River turned up the pressure later in the second half, Funke came up big, making a reflex kick save on Zachary McAuley and then fisting away Jack DelDuca’s follow-up shot. Funke was also aided in the second half by a goal-line clearance from Brian Hallock.

“He made some great, great saves,” said Southold coach Andrew Sadowski.

Southold (2-0) nearly tacked on a second goal when Shoreham-Wading River goalkeeper Adam Piotrowski (8 saves) was judged to have fouled Will Richter. But the 6-foot-2 Piotrowski kept his side in the game by springing to his left and knocking aside Richter’s penalty kick 7:25 into the second half.

Southold’s Drew Sacher nearly tacked on an insurance goal late in the contest. After expertly controlling the ball with his right foot, Sacher sliced forward and directed a shot that crashed off the crossbar.

After a rather flat first hour, Shoreham-Wading River (0-2), as if reacting to a belated wake-up call, picked up its play dramatically over the final 20 minutes but wasn’t rewarded with an equalizer.

“We didn’t start playing until the last 20 minutes,” Shoreham-Wading River coach Andrew Moschetti said. “The last 20 minutes, all of a sudden, it’s a different team on the field.”

Referring to the close scoring chances his team had, Piotrowski said, “Sometimes I wish I could just go down there and do something.”

Having played their season opener just the day before — a 3-2 loss to Kings Park despite 2 goals from Doug DeMaio — the Wildcats rested three banged up starters on Tuesday: Anthony Cusano, Daniel Mahoney and Kyle Pendergast.

Southold won its season opener, 3-2, over Hampton Bays on Saturday, with its goals coming from Hallock, Sacher and Richter. Tuesday’s game was the continuation of a good start to the season for the First Settlers, although they did get a scare when Fujita got hurt with 27:42 remaining. He put little pressure on his right foot as he was helped off the field, and it didn’t look good. Nine minutes later, however, he re-entered the game. Fujita said he believed it was a cramping issue, and he was determined to get back on the field as soon as he could.

“I don’t come here to just sit,” he said. “I come out here to play hard every day.”

Fujita’s work ethic has become his trademark. Sadowski said it is no surprise why Fujita has been doing well in his second soccer life as a field player.

“Obviously, the big reason why he’s playing so well is because of what he does on the training grounds,” Sadowski said. “If you don’t train hard and you’re not open to being a better player, you won’t be a better player. He is everything that I could possibly ask. He is an excellent teammate. He is an extremely hard worker, and his skill continues to improve.”

Fujita said he enjoys playing forward, but he seemed stuck when asked what position he prefers to play.

“There are things that I miss about goalie,” he said. “I wish I could do both, but that’s not really possible.”

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GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River goalkeeper Adam Piotrowski pushing aside a penalty kick by Southold's Will Richter.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River goalkeeper Adam Piotrowski pushing aside a penalty kick by Southold’s Will Richter.

09/05/13 5:00pm
09/05/2013 5:00 PM

ROBERT O’ROURK FILE PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River senior Zach McAuley returns in the midfield this year for the Wildcats.

Ever since his days coaching the girls team at Shoreham-Wading River, Andrew Moschetti preached a possession-style of soccer. That continued to when he became the boys coach in 2009.

This year, however, could be a slight change of pace for the Wildcats. While Moschetti still wants his team to control possession and use smart passes to advance the ball, he’s also willing to allow a few more long balls. The idea is to create some more opportunities for strikers Doug DeMaio and Daniel Mahoney, both of whom are sophomores.

“We’re going to try to play a little more of a direct game,” Moschetti said. “It’s going to be a mix, a little change from the past.”

The Wildcats graduated a large core of last year’s veteran team that lost in the first round of the playoffs to Eastport-South Manor in overtime. To make up for some of the loss of veterans, the Wildcats hope to create mismatches by capitalizing on the ability of DeMaio and Mahoney to score up front.

Mahoney played on the junior varsity last year and led the team in goals. DeMaio played on varsity as a freshman but lost a good portion of his season to a concussion.

During the summer league, Mahoney scored seven goals for Shoreham.

“We’re looking for them to help us finish some goals,” Moschetti said.

The Wildcats lost their goalkeeper to graduation and will turn to senior Adam Piotrowski, who’s had to wait for his opportunity to become a starter.

“He did a great job in the summer and really improved tremendously from last year in terms of keeping control in the net and talking to the defense,” Moschetti said.

Senior Mike McDonnell returns at sweeper and will help anchor the defense. McDonnell is a four-year varsity player. Senior Anthony Cusano, a three-year varsity player, will play center midfield.

McDonnell and Cusano will be the team’s captains.

Senior Zach McAuley returns as an outside midfielder as well. McAuley doubles as the kicker on the football team.

The Wildcats will open the season without senior Kevin Brady, who’s recovering from an ACL injury, Moschetti said. He could return in mid- to late October, Moschetti said.

Competition in League VI will be strong again this year for Shoreham. The two teams that faced off in the county finals, East Hampton and John Glenn, are both back in the league. Moschetti said he expects both teams to be strong once again.

The Wildcats will play a pair of scrimmages before opening up the non-league season Monday at Kings Park on the first day of school. The league season opens Sept. 12 with a trip to Mount Sinai.

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Riverhead junior goalkeeper Ryan DiResta goes airborne during practice.

As a sophomore last year Ryan DiResta came into the season eyeing the starting goalkeeper job at Riverhead. He quickly seized that opportunity and went on to play on goal each game for the Blue Waves.

Now as a junior, DiResta returns a more experienced player who the Blue Waves will rely on to anchor the defense.

“This year we are really counting on him,” said Riverhead coach Lamine Traore. “He’s been fantastic.”

Traore said DiResta’s confidence has really improved from last year.

Offensively the Blue Waves will rely on Phil Barabanov at forward. He’s back after an injury derailed most of his season a year ago. Demar Mason returns on defense.

“They’re all excited,” Traore said.

The Blue Waves faced their share of struggles last year, winning just one game in League III. Most of the games were close, though. Riverhead dropped three games in overtime. Six losses were by one goal.

It’s an uphill climb for the Blue Waves, who don’t have the foundation of a strong youth program or many year-round players. That means the early part of the season requires a lot of work for the coaches to implement some basic concepts of how the team wants to play.

“We almost have to go over every single little detail,” Traore said. “We have just a little time for that.”

Traore said they try to remain positive looking ahead to the season, which begins Sept. 16 at Smithtown West. The Blue Waves will play two scrimmages before then, including a home game Saturday against Longwood.

At Bishop McGann-Mercy, the Monarchs will only field a junior varsity team this year. The Monarchs played last season with a roster of mostly freshmen and sophomores and struggled to compete at that level, losing some games by double digits. The JV team will open the season Sept. 12.

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07/16/13 1:28am
07/16/2013 1:28 AM
GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River's Alex Michaelson tried to find dribbling room around Miller Place's Matt Hoyland.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River’s Alex Michaelson tries to find dribbling room around Miller Place’s Matt Hoyland.

Effort, hustle, work rate.

Those words are foremost on the minds of players on the Shoreham-Wading River boys soccer team, and for good reason. The Wildcats believe that for all the skill and talent they had last year, they were lacking in the effort department.

So now the Wildcats repeat phrases like, “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard,” and “Will beats skill.”

Anthony Cusano, a senior center midfielder, said, “There’s a saying: ‘If you have talent, it doesn’t matter because you still have to work hard,’ and last year we didn’t do the work hard.”

Shoreham-Wading River lost in the first round of the 2012 school season playoffs to Eastport/South Manor in overtime, leaving the Wildcats wondering how far they might have gone had they played to their full potential.

“We had a ton of skill players … but [they] were lazy guys,” coach Andrew Moschetti said. “It’s going to different this year.”

A lot of things are different. For one thing, Shoreham-Wading River graduated 11 of its 21 players, including nine starters. That means that positions are up for grabs, and young players are pushing themselves to show that they belong. It’s a refreshing sight for Moschetti to behold.

“The younger guys coming in aren’t the most skilled guys, but they work their butt off every time they’re on the field,” he said. “It’s nice to see.”

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Joseph Cusano of Shoreham-Wading River, flanked by Miller Place's Jordan Hassel, left, and Brendan Murphy, challenging for a head ball.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Joseph Cusano of Shoreham-Wading River, flanked by Miller Place’s Jordan Hassel, left, and Brendan Murphy, challenging for a head ball.

In the meantime, Moschetti has a lot of player evaluating to do as the Wildcats make productive use of their summer by playing in the Town of Brookhaven Summer League. Despite outshooting Miller Place by 13-6 on Monday evening, Shoreham-Wading River dropped a 2-0 loss because of a pair of second-half goals by Chris Maschella at Heritage Park in Mount Sinai. The result left both teams with 3-3-1 records.

But the loss was not the result of a lack of effort on Shoreham’s part.

Shoreham-Wading River was a bit unfortunate not to have put in a couple of goals in the first half. Its best attempt was a flick by Peter Stirpe that goalkeeper Chris Cummings did well to tip off the crossbar for one of his four saves.

But after Shoreham-Wading River goalkeeper Adam Pietrowski stretched to make a fine save on Maschella early in the second half, Maschella eventually found the net. His first goal came from a superb individual effort in which he held off a defender before nudging the ball past Pietrowski. Later, while moving to the right with a defender on his heels, Maschella sent his shot just inside the far left goalpost.

Nice stuff.

Not for Shoreham-Wading River, though.

Michael McDonnell, a senior sweeper, and Cusano are Shoreham-Wading River’s only two returning seniors. McDonnell, the team’s longest-serving player, will enter his fourth varsity season in the fall. Cusano is in his third year with the team after having played for the St. Anthony’s freshman team.

In that playoff loss to Eastport/South Manor, Cusano ripped cartilage in his knee. His first game this summer was his first since the injury.

“He’s done great with the physical therapy and the rehab,” said Moschetti.

Kevin Brady, a senior captain and center midfielder, tore an anterior cruciate ligament at the end of the school year. He had surgery a week ago, and will be out for six to eight months. Nonetheless, he still attends summer league games to support his teammates.

Moschetti said the summer league is a good experience for his younger players. He said, “For a lot of the younger kids, it’s been good for them to play against other varsity competition.”

Their efforts, he said, cannot be questioned.

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11/24/12 8:00am
11/24/2012 8:00 AM

ROBERT O’ROURK FILE PHOTO | At Shoreham-Wading River Debi-Michelle Jantzen won four county titles. As a freshman at Princeton last weekend, she won a Division I national championship.

FIELD HOCKEY: National champs Shoreham-Wading River graduate Debi-Michelle Jantzen won the Division I field hockey national championship Sunday as a member of the Princeton field hockey team. Princeton defeated North Carolina 3-2 in the championship game in Norfolk, Va. to claim to program’s first national title.

Jantzen, a freshman midfielder, played in 14 games this season for Princeton. She scored one goal and had one assist.

Princeton went 21-1 this season and won a 3-2 overtime game against Maryland last Friday in the semifinals to advance to the championship game.

At Shoreham Jantzen was one of the most prolific players to ever come through the program. A six-year varsity player, she helped lead the Wildcats to four county championships. She was Long Island’s top scorer as a junior and was a four-time all-state player.

SWIMMING: Anderson 12th Shoreham-Wading River eighth-grader Emily Anderson finished 12th overall in the 100-yard breastroke at the New York State championship last weekend in Ithaca. Anderson swam in the ‘B’ final and touched the wall in 1 minute 7.68 seconds.

Sewanhaka senior Olivia Chan won the event in automatic all-America time of 1:02.83.

Anderson was the only independent swimmer from Shoreham to qualify for the state championship.

BOYS SOCCER: Kicking in relief Two East End Football Club teams, the United ’98 under-14 boys and the Earthquakes under-13 boys, played in a fundraising tournament hosted by the East Islip Soccer Club this past weekend. All of the tournament registration fees went toward local relief efforts. In addition, teams and individuals made donations of nonperishable food and clothing. The tournament had 35 clubs and 115 teams play in 174 games that were refereed by volunteer refs from the Long Island Junior Soccer League.

11/03/12 10:09am
11/03/2012 10:09 AM

ROBERT O’ROURK FILE PHOTO | The Riverhead field hockey team, including Danielle Napoli, will get a chance to play its playoff game Wednesday.

The high school sports season will resume Wednesday after more than a week off following Hurricane Sandy.

Here are the games scheduled for local teams:


Saturday, Nov. 10

The Riverhead Blue Waves, seeded No. 2 in Division II, will host No. 7 Walt Whitman at Coach Mike McKillop Memorial Field at 2 p.m. Shoreham-Wading River, seeded No. 3 in Division IV, will host The Stony Brook School also at 2 p.m. And No. 5 McGann-Mercy in Division IV will play a 2 p.m. game at No. 4 Hampton Bays.

The football playoffs were all pushed back one week, so the county championships will be held over Thanksgiving weekend. The Long Island championships will now be pushed back into December.

Field Hockey

Wednesday, Nov. 7

The Riverhead girls, seeded 10th in Class A, will travel to No. 7 Centereach for a 2 p.m. game. The winner plays the next day at No. 2 East Islip. There’s one day off after the quarterfinals and then the semis and finals are on consecutive days.

No. 4 Shoreham-Wading River in Class B will host No. 5 Harborfields at 2 p.m. Wednesday. The winner plays at No. 1 Miller Place Friday.

Boys Soccer

Thursday, Nov. 8

Shoreham-Wading River, seeded 6th in Class B, will travel to No. 3 Eastport-South Manor at 2 p.m. The winner plays the next day against No. 2 East Hampton or No. 7 Miller Place.

Cross Country

Update (12:40 p.m.): The Section XI state qualifier meet is back at Sunken Meadow now  at 1 p.m. Wednesday as the park has been reopened. It had been changed to Sachem East High School, as this post originally stated earlier.

The top 10 teams in each class compete. If the meet gets canceled because of bad weather that may come in Wednesday, there will be no makeup. Results from the division championship will advance teams into the state meet.

Other sections around New York are in a similar situation.

10/26/12 3:32pm
10/26/2012 3:32 PM

ROBERT O’ROURK FILE PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River junior Mike McDonnell (19) tries to clear the ball as Vinny Alese (4) and Anthony Cusano (20) surround Miller Place junior Mike D’Agati.

The Shoreham-Wading River boys soccer team entered the season with big expectations after returning the majority of its players off a team that reached the semifinals of the playoffs last year.

While the Wildcats didn’t get off to the kind of the start they hoped for in the league season, they finished on a 4-1-1 run.

In an eight-team bracket, the Wildcats received the No. 6 seed in Class A, which means they won’t be hosting a playoff game this year. Shoreham will travel to face No. 3 Eastport-South Manor at 2:30 p.m. Thursday.

Eastport went 10-5 and 7-5 in League V. The Wildcats were 9-5-2 overall and 6-4-2 in League VI.

The winner advances to the semifinals against No. 7 Miller Place or No. 2 East Hampton.

The Wildcats did not play Eastport this year.

Sayville (14-2) received the No. 1 seed.

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10/18/12 7:30pm
10/18/2012 7:30 PM

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River senior Kevin Turano scores on a penalty kick for the only goal Thursday against Miller Place.


It was an unceremonious return to Shoreham-Wading River for Mike Gengler Thursday afternoon.

A 1999 Shoreham graduate who coaches Miller Place, Gengler received two red cards in the final minute of a League VI match against the Wildcats. The Panthers did not have an assistant coach who was certified to take over, so the game was called with 23 seconds left and the Wildcats walked off 1-0 winners.

It was a bizarre finish to a physical game that saw both coaches hit with yellow cards for arguing with officials. Frustration with the officials began to set in for the Panthers late in the game and two players were hit with yellow cards 51 seconds apart.

Shortly after the two yellows, Gengler argued that a Shoreham player should have received one after a play that occurred right in front of the Panthers’ bench. Gengler asked the referee closest to the play if he still had the card. The referee responded by issuing a yellow card to Gengler, who continued to chirp at the referee. Two red cards then followed for Gengler, who is also a varsity assistant coach for the Shoreham baseball team.

As the teams shook hands after the game, Gengler apologized to the Shoreham players. He declined to speak to reporters after the game.

Shoreham coach Andrew Moschetti said it was the first time he’s ever been a part of a game that abruptly ended before the finish.

“I’ve got yellow cards myself in the past, I’ve been involved with coaches who got yellow cards, but never a red that turned into a double red,” he said. “I’ve never in my coaching career seen two reds.”

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River junior Mike McDonnell (19) tries to clear the ball as Vinny Alese (4) and Anthony Cusano (20) surround Miller Place junior Mike D’Agati.

Regardless of the finish, the Wildcats will gladly take the victory for what may be the final home game of the season. A strong second-half of the league season has the Wildcats in the playoffs and now it’s a matter of fighting for seeding.

Shoreham improved to 6-3-2 in League VI while Miller Place fell to 5-3-2.

“It’s so close in our league besides East Hampton,” Moschetti said. “The middle four teams are going to be hopping and jumping each other.”

The Wildcats are unbeaten in their last five games (4-0-1) and they hope the momentum can continue into the playoffs.

“We changed some things up halfway through,” Moschetti said. “Since then we haven’t lost.”

The only goal in Thursday’s game came on a first-half penalty kick, which was awarded after a Miller Place handball inside the penalty area.

Moschetti said normally senior Greg Canellys will attempt a penalty kick. But he was on the bench at the time.

Before Moschetti could decide on who to have to take the kick, senior Kevin Turano took charge on the field.

“Kevin just stepped up and said, ‘I’m taking this,’ ” Moschetti said. “I like that. Sometimes you have 11 kids on the field and everyone single one of them walks away from the ball. Kevin went right up, grabbed the ball, put it under his arms and that makes the decision easy for me.”

Turano lined the ball past Miller Place goalkeeper Noah Varonier, whose first step was to his right. Turano kicked to the opposite side, leaving Varonier no chance at making the save.

Facing a team that hasn’t given up more than two goals in any game this season, the Wildcats knew it would be a low-scoring game.

“We marked up on their players,” Moschetti said, noting that junior Anthony Cusano and senior Vinny Alese marked two of Miller Place’s top scorers. “They played the game plan the way we set it up yesterday in practice and came out with a win.”

The Wildcats played an excellent first half keeping the ball deep in the Miller Place end most of the time. They generated six corner kicks. The Panthers got more opportunities in the second half, but neither team was able to convert.

The Wildcats conclude the regular season Monday at John Glenn, another team bunched with Shoreham and Miller Place in a crowded League VI. Shoreham lost 2-1 against Glenn Oct. 3, the team’s last loss.

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10/16/12 8:29pm
10/16/2012 8:29 PM

BILL LANDON PHOTO | Damian Duda scored one goal in Mercy’s loss Tuesday against Southampton.

The McGann-Mercy boys soccer team fell 7-1 Tuesday afternoon at home against Southampton in League VII. It was the 12th straight loss for the Monarchs, who are still searching for their first win.

With a roster made up of mostly freshmen and sophomores, it’s been an uphill battle this season for the young Monarchs.

Damian Duda provided the team’s lone goal against the Mariners. The goal came on the heels of a two-goal performance against Wyandanch in the Monarchs’ previous game. Mercy lost that game 3-2 in what was the closest game of the season.

The Monarchs have two games left in the season, beginning Saturday at Mattituck. Their final home game is Oct. 23 against Center Moriches.

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