In soccer, a tie can mean different things for both teams.
One side may be satisfied with a draw, considering it a moral victory if the opponent is one it didn’t expect to beat. Another might see it as a wasted opportunity to get a victory over a squad it considered beatable.
The East Hampton boys soccer team fell into the latter category after playing to a scoreless tie with defending Class A state champion Jericho in Nassau County on Saturday. It was also a missed chance for revenge—the Jayhawks beat East Hampton the last two years in the Long Island Class A title game. Jericho is still one of the top programs on Long Island, but lost the bulk of its starting lineup to graduation last year, while East Hampton lost only a few starters.
“We were disappointed that we didn’t get the win,” East Hampton head coach Rich King said, “because of the fact that we thought we were the better team, at least that day. And given the history between the two teams, we were disappointed we didn’t come away with the victory. That’s my perspective on it, and that’s the kids’ perspective on it.”
King said he thought it was a well-played game by both teams, but said he believed his team had more and better scoring opportunities than the Jayhawks.
If both teams advance to the Long Island title game again, East Hampton might get another shot at Jericho. But King said that another potential showdown with the Jayhawks is the furthest thing from his mind right now. Instead, he and his players are focused on more immediate goals—namely, winning league games. On that front, the Bonackers are doing about as good a job as anyone could ask for. Before facing Jericho in the non-league game, East Hampton beat Shoreham/Wading River, 3-0, on the road to improve to 5-0 in League VI, 7-1-1 overall. The Bonackers have not been scored on by a league opponent this year. In fact, in nine games, East Hampton has only given up four goals, all in a non-league loss to Catholic powerhouse St. Anthony’s.
King said the win over Shoreham was a nice one for his team.
“They’re not as good as Shoreham teams in the past, but they’re still a playoff team, and still a team you have to beat if you want to be one of the better teams,” King said. “They’re always going to test you, and beating them on the road was a big win.”
Nick West scored twice and Donte Donegal had a goal. Nick Quiroz and George Naula had assists. Nick Tulp made three saves.
“We played well throughout,” King said. “It was one of the better games we played from start to finish all season. I think we’re starting to hit our stride a bit.”
East Hampton played Amityville on Monday (for results, see this week’s Monday Roundup article) and was scheduled to take on Elwood/John Glenn (3-1-1, 6-1-2) on Thursday at home. East Hampton won the first meeting with Glenn because of a Glenn forfeit, so it will be the first time the teams see each other on the field. King said his team was looking forward to playing the Knights.
“They are one of the better teams, and we’re excited,” he said. “We want to prove ourselves. We don’t feel like we are a finished product. That’s where I want our kids’ mentality to be, and our kids are excited to play them.”
The Lady Bonackers fell to 0-6 in League VI, 2-6 overall after three shutout losses last week. East Hampton was downed, 5-0, at Miller Place on September 24, took a tough 1-0 loss at home against Bayport on Thursday, and lost, 5-0, at Shoreham on Saturday.
ON THE SCHEDULE: Boys—Thursday, 10/3, vs. Glenn, 4:30 p.m.; Monday, 10/7, at Mount Sinai, 4:30 p.m.; Wednesday, 10/9, vs. Miller Place, 4:30 p.m. Girls—Saturday, 10/5, at Center Moriches, 4 p.m.; Tuesday, 10/8, vs. Glenn, 4:30 p.m.; Thursday, 10/10, at Mount Sinai, 4:30 p.m.