The Pierson boys soccer team solidified its status as the team to beat in Class C last week with a pair of wins over its toughest competition, getting past Stony Brook (2-5, 2-8 overall), 5-1, at home on October 9 before a huge 2-1 road win over second-place Southold (6-2, 9-4 overall) on Friday.
The wins pushed Pierson to 8-0-1 in League VIII, 9-2-2 overall.
While the Whalers have yet to be beaten by a league opponent this year, head coach Peter Solow is certainly not making any bold declarations about what he thinks his team will accomplish come the postseason. In fact, he emphasized the word “luck” when speaking about his squad’s ability to come out on top against the Settlers on their home field.
“It could have gone either way,” he said. “I think for portions of the game, we got outplayed. We were very fortunate to come away with the win.” Solow also alluded to the fact that it’s a near certainty that the teams will face each other a third time in the postseason, and that beating them again could be their toughest test yet. “For us to beat them [again], we really have to step things up. To play them and beat them three times is pretty tough. It’s going to be a massive battle.”
Pierson struck first in the game when Jack Fitzpatrick scored in the first half. Southold tied it up before halftime, but Fitzpatrick struck again, making good on a breakaway with less than 10 minutes in regulation to put his team up for good. Goalie Nick Stevens made six saves in the win. Marcos Perez chipped in an assist for Pierson.
Fitzpatrick has been a breakout star this season for Pierson. As of Monday morning, the junior striker was tied for second in Suffolk County with 17 goals, trailing only James Thristino of Comsewogue (22). Solow said he expected Fitzpatrick to be an impact player for his team this year, but admitted he had no idea he’d be such a scoring threat.
“He’s been sort of a revelation for us,” Solow said. “Usually our leading goal scorer has five or seven goals. I didn’t really expect this. For him to do so well in that respect is really impressive.”
While Fitzpatrick was the star in the win, Solow said that several other players had great efforts as well. He pointed to the play of freshman Charlie Pintado, a striker/midfielder, in particular, along with right defensive player Duncan Bennett, defensive midfielder Perez and midfielder Forrest Loesch.
Pierson enjoyed a lopsided margin of victory against Southold, although the Whalers held just a 2-1 lead early on before breaking it open. Loesch and Fitzpatrick scored twice while Ian Barrett had a goal.
Pierson was scheduled to play a pair of non-league games against two playoff-bound Class B teams from League VII—Southampton and Mattituck—before finishing off the regular season. They’re games that Solow hopes will prepare his squad for the tough competition it will face in its journey to win a county championship.
ON THE SCHEDULE: Wednesday, 10/16, vs. Knox School, 4 p.m.; Saturday, 10/19, at Southampton, 7 p.m.; Tuesday, 10/22, at Mattituck, 4 p.m.