The first half alone was a virtual highlight package of clinical finishing. Shoreham-Wading River’s offensive explosion was a sight to behold. One tremendous goal was better than the next.
And the Wildcats were the epitome of efficiency, scoring on seven of their first nine shots for a 7-0 lead. Before the wild opening 40 minutes was over, though, host Bayport-Blue Point had rallied for four straight goals of its own before SWR closed out a crazy 10-4 romp in the Suffolk County League VI boys soccer game at Bob Sullivan Field Saturday morning. It was the most goals SWR (12-2, 12-2) has scored and allowed in a single game this season.
Who said there’s no scoring in soccer?
That’s certainly not the case when SWR takes the field. With Saturday’s output, the Wildcats raised their season tally to 62 goals scored (and 18 allowed). They know how to put the ball in the net.
“We have a really stacked offense, so the goals just keep coming, and our defense has done great, too,” said senior striker Brady Cummings, who notched four goals, bringing his season tally to 24 goals, in addition to four assists. “We play till we get the best looks possible and everyone has the ability to put the ball in the back of the net.”
That was obvious as James Rose tallied three goals and two assists and Connor Guercia supplied three assists. James Dacos and Daniel Canellys each bagged a goal and an assist. Matteo Sweet also scored and Rob Marigliano had an assist. Even goalkeeper William Devall got into the act with an assist to go with his six saves.
“The finishing is definitely there,” coach Russ Mitchinson said. “It’s a lot of guys getting involved. It’s quality opportunities. They know where they need to be, what they need to do and they’re really taking care of business.”
Second-place SWR, winner of seven straight, has been doing just that. Regardless, the team’s league championship chances are a long shot. SWR has remaining regular-season games against its two toughest opponents — at home to first-place Amityville on Thursday night and at Sayville next Saturday. Regardless of the league title implications, Thursday’s game will be a rematch against Amityville (13-0, 13-0), a 2-1 winner over SWR with a pair of penalty kicks on Sept. 20. It will also be SWR’s Senior Night and promises to be a great game.
“It’s probably going to be the craziest game of my life,” Cummings said. “Last game it was a big game, too, and we almost won it. We felt a little cheated out of the win. We really want to get this next one.”
Mitchinson said: “They’ve had this one marked off on their calendars since we played them the first time around … Emotions are definitely going to be high.”
As for facing the Warriors, Mitchinson said: “It’s tough. Amityville is Amityville. I don’t remember the last time they lost a game, so it’s tough being in a league with them.”
Playing SWR is no piece of cake, either. Bayport (4-8-1, 4-8-1) can readily attest to that. The Phantoms were shut out, 7-0, in their first game against SWR.
This second meeting featured some brilliant strikes by SWR, including a first-time drive by Sweet from a Guercia cross and a cracker of a left-footer that Rose bent around goalkeeper Connor Joseph, who didn’t stand much of a chance.
“We’re all in it together,” Mitchinson said. “It’s not one guy. It’s the 11 on the field. We win together, we lose together; we create opportunities together.”
Bayport received two goals and one assist from Chris Costa and a goal and an assist from Victor Sandor as well as an own goal in its favor on a ball Breaton Ryan drove off a defender.
The goals have been coming aplenty for SWR, but the Wildcats are looking beyond that.
“We’re not looking for goals,” Rose said, “we’re looking for wins, and it’s showing.”
Photo caption: Rob Marigliano, who had an assist for Shoreham-Wading River in its 10-4 rout of Bayport-Blue Point, finds dribbling room during the second half. (Credit: Bob Liepa)