11/05/14 6:29pm
11/05/2014 6:29 PM
Shoreham-Wading River sophomore Alex Kuhnle one her way toward scoring the only goal in Wednesday's Class A county championship game. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)

Shoreham-Wading River sophomore Alex Kuhnle on her way toward scoring the only goal in Wednesday’s Class A county championship game. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

CLASS A COUNTY FINALS  |  WILDCATS 1, GOLDEN FLASHES 0

It was a moment 27 years in the making.

The Shoreham-Wading River girls soccer team outlasted perennial nemesis Sayville, 1-0, in Wednesday’s Class A county finals to win the program’s first championship since 1987.  (more…)

11/05/14 4:00pm
Shoreham-Wading River sophomore Alex Kuhnle one her way toward scoring the only goal in Wednesday's Class A county championship game. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)

Shoreham-Wading River sophomore Alex Kuhnle one her way toward scoring the only goal in Wednesday’s Class A county championship game. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

CLASS A COUNTY FINALS
No. 1 Sayville (15-0-3) vs. No. 2 SWR (17-0-1)
Dowling Sports Complex

In a battle of two unbeatens, Shoreham-Wading River faces Sayville this afternoon for the Class A county title in girls soccer. The Wildcats are playing in their first county title game since 2006 when they lost to Islip. Sayville is the defending county champion. (more…)

05/17/14 5:53pm
05/17/2014 5:53 PM
Ryan Bray of Shoreham-Wading River  (Credit: Robert O'Rourk, file)

Ryan Bray of Shoreham-Wading River (Credit: Robert O’Rourk, file)

SUFFOLK COUNTY CLASS B TOURNAMENT | GOLDEN FLASHES 9, WILDCATS 6

The Shoreham-Wading River High School boys lacrosse team will not have an opportunity to play for a Suffolk County championship this year.

The fifth-seeded Wildcats, who were Suffolk Class C champions the last two years, were eliminated by host and fourth-seeded Sayville, 9-6, a Class B quarterfinal on Saturday.

The game wasn’t as close as the score suggests. (more…)

11/01/13 6:00pm
11/01/2013 6:00 PM

BILL LANDON PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River goalkeeper Kelly Wynkoop saw her four-year varsity career come to an end Friday in the semifinals of the Class A playoffs.

CLASS A SEMIFINALS  |  GOLDEN FLASHES 1, WILDCATS 0

Junior Jessica O’Shaughnessy scored in the 30th minute to lift top-seeded Sayville to a 1-0 victory over Shoreham-Wading River in the Suffolk County Class A girls semifinals at Depot Field in Sayville on Friday afternoon.

The win boosted Sayville into the county finals against No. 2 Islip at the Dowling Soccer Complex at 4 p.m. Tuesday.

The loss ended the fifth-seeded Wildcats’ most successful season since 2006 at 10-4, while the Golden Flash improved to 13-2.

On Tuesday, SWR defeated Bayport-Blue Point, 1-0, in a first-round game.

O’Shaughnessy latched onto a pass from senior Michelle Civitella and rolled in a shot to the lower left corner past goalkeeper Kelly Wynkoop for the game’s lone goal.

The Wildcats tried to equalize, but a stout Sayville backline limited the visitors to any dangerous opportunities.

Shoreham finished the season allowing only six total goals.

08/05/13 10:26pm
08/05/2013 10:26 PM
ROBERT O'ROURK PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River's Courtney Clasen driving to the basket during her team's summer league semifinal win over Sayville on Monday evening.

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River’s Courtney Clasen driving to the basket during her team’s summer league semifinal win over Sayville on Monday evening.

Is she a scorer?

Most definitely.

Is she a rebounder?

Absolutely.

Is she a playmaker?

No question about it.

Is she an intimidating defensive presence?

She sure is.

The truth is, Courtney Clasen is all of the above. A player who is not easily defined by a single skill, Clasen brings a fine all-around game to the Shoreham-Wading River girls basketball team. So, when one asks the team’s new coach, Adam Lievre, what Clasen’s official position is, the questioner is bound to encounter a stumped look from the coach. And that isn’t just because Lievre is planning to run a wide open offense during the coming school season, and positions aren’t expected to matter much. Clasen has the ability to play any position on the court. She can bring the ball down the floor as well as play in the post. It’s really an unusual versatility that one doesn’t see often.

Putting it in succinct terms, Lievre said, “She does everything.”

ROBERT O'ROURK PHOTO | Jessica McCormick of Shoreham-Wading River battling for a loose ball under the basket.

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Jessica McCormick of Shoreham-Wading River battling for a loose ball under the basket.

Now Lievre’s job is to convince the modest Clasen to believe in herself more.

“My goal for the summer and the school year is to get her to realize that she’s even better than she thinks she is,” he said after a recent game. “There are a couple of times — even [Clasen’s teammate] Taylor [Whiffen] said it — she puts on a second gear that someone her size just can’t stay up with. There were a couple of times she got a rebound and just took off. She’s quicker than most people and she jumps higher than everybody.”

Clasen, who will be entering her third varsity season as a junior, gave a good demonstration of what she has to offer as a basketball player on Monday evening in her team’s 32-21 defeat of Sayville in a Town of Brookhaven Summer League small schools semifinal. She totaled 8 points, 11 rebounds, 4 steals, 3 assists and 2 blocks in the game at Patchogue-Medford High School.

Not bad at all.

When asked about how she developed her all-around game, Clasen indicated she doesn’t give much thought to it. “I just go out and play,” she said.

“She’s a great player,” said Whiffen, who has also spent time this summer playing AAU ball for the Long Island Renegades. “She’s everywhere on the court. She understands the game really well.”

With the graduation of Meghan King, the team’s leadership mantle has been passed on to Clasen, Shannon Rosati and Whiffen.

The Wildcats didn’t have Rosati for the semifinal, but they did have Whiffen, who provided 8 points, 4 rebounds, 3 blocks and 2 steals.

Lievre said he values Clasen most for her rebounding, but Whiffen can also crash the boards. “She’s really one of the first girls that we’ve had that can really play with her back to the basket and make a post move,” the coach said.

With Monday’s win, Shoreham qualified for the small schools final on Wednesday night against either Eastport/South Manor or Hampton Bays at St. Joseph’s College.

Monday’s result aside, the Wildcats are hoping for a cleaner performance. The semifinal was a sloppy affair, with both teams combining for 60 turnovers.

“It definitely wasn’t our prettiest game,” said Lievre.

Neither side shot well, either, but Shoreham atoned for its offensive sins by dominating on the boards, 31-15.

Erin MacDevitt led Sayville with 11 points.

Lievre didn’t sound too concerned with the offense, though. “Even doing JV for 10 years, I always told [the players that] summer league is defense. We’ll worry about offense during the school year.”

And reaching a small schools final is a nice plus.

Said Lievre, “Winning isn’t everything, but it’s nice to win, and it’s something to build on.”

bliepa@timesreview.com

05/22/13 12:00pm
05/22/2013 12:00 PM

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Brittany Mahan of Shoreham-Wading River receiving a throw to get Sayville’s Emily Sellitti out.

SUFFOLK CLASS A FIRST ROUND  |  GOLDEN FLASHES 4, WILDCATS 0

To stop a softball team like Sayville, you just might have to be perfect. After all, the Golden Flashes are the defending New York State Class A champions.

For three-plus innings on Tuesday afternoon, Shoreham-Wading River senior right-hander Chelsea Hawks was perfect, mowing down the opening 10 batters before the fourth-seeded Golden Flashes took advantage of some imperfect play by the No. 5 Wildcats and some errors to break through for a 4-0 home win in the Suffolk County Class A Tournament first-round game.

“We gave them four outs every inning, which didn’t help,” said a tearful Hawks, who played in her final high school game. “And it wasn’t our game.”

For the third year in a row, Sayville (18-3) eliminated Shoreham (16-3) from the playoffs.

“We had been playing pretty good and we thought we had a pretty good shot,” Hawks said. We played them last year … and beat them twice during the season. I knew we had a shot, definitely. We just had to play our game and make every play, which we didn’t do.”

Shoreham coach Christina Shiffman agreed.

“They’re definitely a quality team with quality hitters,” she said. “On the mound, even though they had four runs on the board, Chelsea on every single pitch, we had to be careful with all batters because they have a great hitting team. You have to be close to perfect and I think it helps to score first and that’s what we were going for in there.”

Sayville scored first as it the hosts took advantage of just about every mistake — large and small.

“They definitely did,” Hawks said. “We made an error and they took it to their advantage. So, we gave it to them, completely.”

Hawks (15-2) was unhittable through the first 10 hitters, striking out five, including the side in the third inning. With one out in the fourth, Sayville second baseman Jess Griffin tried a bunt that third baseman Alex Hutchins threw over the head of first baseman Erin Whelan. Griffin wound up at second.

“At that point, we were just trying to get something going, put the ball in play, making them make plays,” Sayville coach Brittany Rowan said.

After retiring Cindy Griffin on an infield pop-up, Hawks walked Kristen Bricker. Olivia Kaczmarak singled in Griffin and Crissy Malone drove in Bricker with another single for a 2-0 lead.

“Chelsea Hawks is an absolutely phenomenal pitcher,” Rowan said. “We knew that we were going to have to make some adjustments at the plate. We went one-two-three for the first, second and third inning. They learned from their at-bats. They went up and they started driving the ball.”

The hosts added a run in the fifth inning as Emily Sellitti singled, stole second, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on Jess Griffin’s single. With two out in the sixth and Malone on second with a double, the Wildcats twice allowed catchable pop-ups to fall in foul territory, giving Kerry Keehan a lifeline and two extra opportunities to lash a run-scoring single to center.

“Unfortunately, that’s the way the momentum goes sometimes, not in our favor,” Shiffman said. “In practice and every time we talk to them, we stress to them how important it is to play as perfect as we can and make no errors. Sometimes it can be contagious, and unfortunately, that’s what happened.”

Sayville junior right-hander Julia Simpson (12-2) was quite effective, limiting the Wildcat to only one hit — by Brittany Mahan in the first inning. Hutchins managed to reach base three times — all on errors. Simpson struck out four batters and walked one.

“We just didn’t hit,” Hawks said. “We can’t win with no hits.”

Simpson got the start because Amanda Eremita had a 101-degree fever.

“She’s filling in some big shoes from last year,” Rowan said of Simpson. “I’m so proud of what she’s done throughout the whole year.”

If Sayville has any aspirations of repeating as a state champion, Rowan hasn’t talked about it.

“We never talk about one game, anything in the future,” she said. “It’s always who we’re playing. We only focus on that. We don’t look ahead. To tell you the truth, I don’t look ahead. People are asking me, ‘When’s the next game?’ I don’t know. I’m very superstitious. We don’t look ahead to the future or to the past. What we did was nice, but it doesn’t help us get to where we need to get today.”

The Golden Flash’s next game is against top-seeded Miller Place in the semifinals on today.

“They can go far,” Shiffman said. “They can beat anyone in Suffolk County. I think they can be competitive. If they don’t win, they’ll give every team a run for their money.”

05/26/12 5:22pm
05/26/2012 5:22 PM

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River shortstop Mike DiSanti tagged out Sayville's Mike Rahn in a rundown in the eighth inning.

SUFFOLK CLASS A TOURNAMENT | WILDCATS 2, GOLDEN FLASHES 1 (9 INNINGS)

Mike O’Reilly’s exploits on the pitching mound are well known. But the Shoreham-Wading River High School senior isn’t bad in the batter’s box, either. O’Reilly has shown a knack for closing games in dramatic fashion with the bat in his hands.

He did it again on Saturday.

O’Reilly slugged a dramatic walk-off home run, his second in eight days, in the ninth inning as Shoreham-Wading River kept its playoff run alive, handing Sayville a cruel 2-1 defeat in the Suffolk County Class A baseball tournament.

With his team trailing, 1-0, and one runner on base with one out, O’Reilly jumped on a 1-0 fastball and drove it over the right-field fence, an estimated 345 feet at Kevin Williams Memorial Field in Shoreham. It was his fourth home run of the year and second of the playoffs. A week earlier, he had belted a walk-off homer in a playoff win over Rocky Point.

“It’s unreal to have that happen again,” O’Reilly said. “It’s as much of a rush as you can get. It’s unbelievable.”

O’Reilly was coming off a severe ankle sprain before that game against Rocky Point. Shoreham coach Sal Mignano said that when O’Reilly hit that winning home run in the bottom of the eighth inning, he limped around the bases à la Kirk Gibson. “This time he had a little more bounce in his step,” said Mignano.

And for good reason.

The triumph in what was essentially a loser’s bracket final of the double-elimination tournament, earned No. 1 seed Shoreham (18-5) a showdown with No. 2 Bayport-Blue Point (18-4) on Tuesday. Bayport would become the county champion with a win in that game. If Shoreham wins, the teams will meet once again on Wednesday to determine the county champion.

O’Reilly has a well-deserved reputation for coming through in the clutch.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River catcher Jono Criscito applied the tag to Sayville's Robert McCauley, who was called out after a throw by right fielder Danny Luppens in the second inning.

“We all knew he was going to do it,” Shoreham pitcher Dan DeVito said. History “repeats itself. That’s all I can say.”

Mignano has good cause to rave about O’Reilly. “For him to do that, two wins in a row in the playoffs, says something about him as a player,” the coach said. “He’s been more than you can ask for in a kid. I don’t want to talk about his career right now, but he’s one of the best we’ve ever had.”

This marks the third straight year in which Shoreham has eliminated No. 5 Sayville (15-10) from the playoffs.

Sayville’s starting pitcher, Matthew Seeba, did a masterful job through the eight and one-third scoreless innings he pitched. He gave up four hits and three walks.

After Seeba got Shoreham’s first batter in the ninth, Steve Schneider, to line out to right field, Sayville coach Ryan Cox pulled him for reliever Ryan Aloise. Seeba trudged off to applause and congratulatory handshakes from teammates who walked out from the dugout to greet him.

The first batter Aloise faced, Nick Bottari, reached base on a fielding error. And then O’Reilly put an end to the proceedings with his blast, which had Mignano jumping for joy like a kid in the third-base coach’s box.

Things looked bleak for Shoreham after Sayville broke the ice with a run in the top of the ninth. Robert McCauley, who led off by lining a single to left, later scored on Joseph Kacinski’s sacrifice fly to deep left.

Neither team had a strikeout, which was unusual for a pitcher’s duel. DeVito (6-0) worked the full nine innings, hurling a five-hitter. He walked one batter and hit two.

Sayville turned four doubles plays to help keep the game scoreless through eight innings. But possibly the best defensive play of the day was turned in by Shoreham’s right fielder, Danny Luppens, who prevented a Sayville run with his arm in the second inning. DeVito hit the first two batters that inning, McCauley and Peter Rende. Two outs later, Ben Gudesblatt singled sharply to right field and McCauley raced toward home plate. A great throw by Luppens to catcher Jono Criscito got McCauley for the third out.

It was the 550th career win for Mignano, the only coach Shoreham has had in its 36-year team history. He ranks No. 1 in wins among active Suffolk coaches and is second on the county’s all-time win list.

Before the game Mignano met with his seniors on the field. He said he told them: “We’re having too much fun together. Let’s not let this end.”

O’Reilly, for one, didn’t sound ready to say goodbye to his high school playing career.

“They’re going to have to rip this jersey off me,” he said. “I’m not ready to stop playing yet.”

bliepa@timesreview.com