Shoreham-Wading River coach Russ Mitchinson certainly liked what he had seen in his team’s 5-1 home victory over Riverhead in non-league boys soccer action on Tuesday afternoon.
Anthony Guzzone scored one goal and assisted on another. Joseph Daleo, Michael Lapedota, Robert Marigliano and Kyle Michaelson also added tallies for the Wildcats (8-3-1).
“I thought we played well, especially doing the things that we wanted to do, moving the ball, the transition element of it, stringing the ball through the middle, being able to get our counterattack going as well,” he said. “Really, I thought we met the expectations that we set for ourselves. Do I think we could have done better? Of course, you want to always see a higher level out of us. But all in all, we checked all the boxes off that we wanted to get it done. It sets it up for Sayville on Thursday.”
Shoreham hosts Sayville, which overcame a two-goal deficit to register a 3-2 overtime home win over the Wildcats in a Suffolk County League VI match on Sept. 15.
“We looked at this and we said this was going to be the tune-up for Sayville,” Mitchinson said. “Get the engine firing on all cylinders today and really use practice tomorrow to keep that momentum going. That’s big for the boys, two home games in a row, not to have to travel too far. And Sayville got us the first time around. We’ve got that in the back of our heads. It’s something that we’ve been waiting for, a second crack at them.”
There’s a good chance Mitchinson probably won’t have to remind his players about their second chance against Sayville.
“That’s a pretty sour taste in our mouth, being up 2-0 in that game and then coughing two goals with 20 minutes to go and then losing in the first overtime,” he said. “It’s something that they’re not going to forget too easily. I know they’re looking forward to get back to this point, to have a crack at them and welcome them to Shoreham, show them what we’re about here.”
On Tuesday, the Wildcats were about scoring early and often as they grabbed a 3-0 halftime lead against the Blue Waves (3-8).
They struck with 28:23 remaining in the opening half as Daleo beat goalkeeper Angel Camarillo with a 15-yard blast.
Guzzone converted a penalty kick after a foul in the box with 22:36 to go for a 2-0 lead.
With 15:01 remaining in the half, Guzzone turned playmaker, setting up Michaelson’s shot from the left side for a three-goal advantage.
Marigliano drilled a 40-yard shot that went through Camarillo’s hands for a 4-0 lead with 36:09 left in the second half before Lapedota closed out Shoreham’s scoring, heading home Tyler McAuley’s free kick.
Vincent Gattuso pulled one back for Riverhead with 3:55 to go in the match, putting home an Oscar Corado feed.
Riverhead coach Evan Philcox took blame for the defeat.
“I think it’s my fault. I got them so mentally ready for tomorrow that we wanted to take any jitters or nerves away from today’s game but still expected them to play sharp,” he said about the Blue Waves’ League II game at Lindenhurst on Wednesday. “I think I made too little of today’s [game] and as a result we never really started.
“We were off for three days. Three days with no practice will always have you have a slow start and that was calculated when we scheduled this game after the three-day weekend. But being where we are in our league schedule, we did want to get our starters out there to play hard, do what we need to do, get the work in and get off the field. So they will be ready tomorrow with some really fresh legs and hopefully a good taste in our mouths. It was nice we scored one at the end. So at least we left with something positive to talk about.”
Photo caption: Shoreham-Wading River’s Trey Ekert gets the jump on Riverhead’s Edwin Mendez. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)