Before the season started, Hampton Bays head coach John Paga said that while he thought his roster lacked some star power, it probably had more depth than any team he’s coached in quite some time. On Friday, against powerhouse Mattituck, that depth was shining bright in a 1-0 overtime victory at home.
The win on Friday, coupled with a 3-0 victory at Wyandanch on September 25, and a 3-2 overtime win over Port Jefferson at home on September 23, has pushed Hampton Bays to second place in League VII, with a 4-1 record (6-2 overall), as of Monday morning. Mattituck still sat atop the standings with a 5-1 record, and Center Moriches was third, trailing the Baymen with a 3-1-1 record.
“It’s been kind of a wild week,” Paga explained. “We’ve still been shorthanded, due to the 17 players getting suspended in the game against Southampton”—as part of a brawl last week with its rivals, numerous players left the bench and were suspended for a game—“but we pulled out an overtime win against Port Jeff. And we didn’t play well at Wyandanch, but we’ve just been manufacturing goals. We haven’t really had any scoring punch in any of those games, but the defense has played really well.”
With the game scoreless and four minutes remaining in the second overtime, Hampton Bays took a corner kick that Mattituck was initially able to clear. Senior Bayman David Pescatore was able to corral the ball, though, around the 20-yard line, and he booted the ball off the inside of the top right post, rattling inside the goal for the game winner.
The game did have some controversy at the end of the first overtime. After a scramble in front of the goal, a Mattituck player kicked the ball off the crossbar, and the ball went straight down as time expired without crossing the goal line. Another Mattituck player came in and headed the ball in the goal—but after a discussion between the officials, it was decided that the goal came after time expired, giving new life to Hampton Bays.
“It was absolutely the right call, even though it was really, really close,” Paga said. “I’m not going to lie, we got lucky a lot during the game, but we played really well in the second half and in the second overtime.”
Hampton Bays senior goalie Joe Calamita made nine saves in goal to earn his second consecutive shutout. His first came in the victory at Wyandanch later in the week, where he only had to make five saves. Pescatore and junior Nick Lemorrocco scored the first two goals of the game for the Baymen, then junior Oscar Murillo, a late addition to the team this season, scored his second goal of the season with 30 minutes remaining in the game.
The week got started off on a good note, with the Baymen’s 3-2 overtime victory over Port Jefferson. Down 17 players because of suspensions due to the altercation with Southampton the week before, Paga had eight varsity players available and had to call up five junior varsity players just to field a team. Jason Ramos, one of the JV callups, scored his first varsity goal in the second half to tie the game at 1-1. Then senior Cristian Iquia scored to put Hampton Bays up 2-1. Port Jeff scored later in the second half to tie the game and force overtime.
In the second overtime, junior Jean Carlos Blanco put a nice ball in the box off a corner kick, and Murillo finished it with a header to give Hampton Bays the victory. It was Murillo’s first-ever varsity goal.
“We played way shorthanded—I only played 11 guys,” Paga said. “And we were missing the majority of our [goal scorers], so I think to come away with a victory really shows the depth we’ve been able to build here.”
Paga said it was a good week, and that it was nice to beat Mattituck, but the team’s ultimate goal is to qualify for the playoffs.
Two more victories and the Baymen will accomplish that goal.
The Hampton Bays girls soccer team tied at Copiague, 1-1, on September 25. Hampton Bays sophomore Laura Zaweski gave Hampton Bays the lead just five minutes into the game off a feed from sophomore Hannah Martinez. Copiague’s Brianna Leddy, though, scored in the 46th minute to knot the game up at 1-1, and both teams failed to score in overtime.
Hampton Bays is 1-2-1 in League VIII play, 2-2-1 overall.
ON THE SCHEDULE: Boys—Monday, 10/7, at Babylon, 4:30 p.m.; Wednesday, 10/9, vs. Southampton, 4 p.m. Girls—Wednesday, 10/2, at Amityville; Monday, 10/7, vs. Central Islip, 4 p.m.; Friday, 10/11, at William Floyd, 4 p.m.