Sometimes the ball just will not go in the goal.
Try as it did — and the Shoreham-Wading River High School boys soccer team tried everything it could — the Wildcats could not punch in a goal Monday night. It happens sometimes. That’s soccer.
Of course, that did not make eighth-seeded SWR’s 1-0 loss to No. 9 Islip in the Suffolk County Class A Tournament first-round match any easier to take. Connor Argenziano’s first-half strike stood as the only goal of the night at Thomas Cutinella Memorial Field in Shoreham.
“We just couldn’t score,” said SWR center midfielder James Dacos.
SWR, which held a 16-8 advantage in shots, played the final 31 minutes and 19 seconds shorthanded after outside back Troy Cathey was shown a red card. The referee indicated that Cathey had swung an arm at an Islip player. Cathey angrily pulled off his jersey before he walked off the field. It was one of six cards issued in the contentious match.
“It’s that playoff mentality where everybody’s fighting for their season and doing anything to win,” said SWR forward Jake DePaoli.
Last year SWR finished a first-round loss to Kings Park with 10 players on the field, the result of an ejection as well.
SWR (9-7) cannot say it didn’t have chances, the most notable being a penalty kick awarded to the Wildcats after a handball call. The spot kick taken by DePaoli with 12:41 left in the second half was parried by sophomore goalkeeper Dylan Thierwechter for one of his five saves.
“My goalie came up huge on that PK,” Islip coach Michael Argenziano said. “My keeper is getting better and better every day. He kept us in a lot of games this year.”
Just a minute later, Dacos nailed a 30-yard drive that smacked off the far right goalpost.
Michael Argenziano, who is Connor’s uncle, knows how it is with tight games such as this one. “You have to make the most of (your) opportunities,” he said.
Islip (9-7) did just that 15:39 into the game. Argenziano’s well-placed header off a left-wing cross from Tavion Baker found the upper left corner of the net.
That didn’t deter SWR from continuing to push forward in desperate search of an equalizer.
“It’s a testament to the boys,” SWR coach Russ Mitchinson said. “They know how there’s no quit in them.”
A wicked left-footed attempt by Connor Guercia was nicley pushed aside by Thierwechter for a corner kick. Joseph Daleo uncorked a 45-yard blast that Thierwechter denied.
“I thought we were going to score,” said Dacos.
DePaoli said: “Sometimes the ball doesn’t find its way. You miss a few shots that you should put in.”
And then, almost as if a teasing reminder of SWR’s scoring trouble, the game ended literally a second before a sliding Robert Marigliano met a centering pass from James Rose, with an inviting Islip goal in front of him. The ball rolled wide of the net, not that it would have counted had it gone in.
It was the fourth time this year that SWR was shut out.
SWR’s offense, which doesn’t have a single big scorer, can be equated to a faucet. “It’s a hot and cold thing,” Mitchinson said. “Tonight we were cold.”
Islip will face the League V champion and No. 1 seed, Amityville (15-0-1), in a quarterfinal Thursday in Amityville.
SWR’s season is over. The Wildcats will lose four seniors: goalkeeper Wesley Pase, midfielder Devan Palmer and fullbacks Brennan Gorman and Daleo.
“I thought we played hard,” DePaoli said. “The ball just didn’t bounce our way in the end.”
Soccer is like that sometimes.