The East Hampton boys soccer team emerged, unscathed, from a grueling stretch of six games in nine days, remaining undefeated at 3-0-1 in League VI, 6-0-1 overall.
The Bonackers beat Miller Place, 2-0, in a league contest at home on September 17 before taking a long bus ride to East Northport to face rival Elwood/John Glenn—the team that knocked them out of the postseason in penalty kicks last year—playing to a scoreless tie, before returning to the field next day for their homecoming match, beating Hampton Bays, 3-0, in a non-league game.
East Hampton head coach Rich King said he wasn’t disappointed with the draw against the Knights, a perennial playoff team that always puts a good product on the field.
“It was a typical John Glenn game, with two contrasting styles,” he said. “They’re a lot more direct than we are; they like to play the ball in the air. We like to possess the ball more. They play their style really well and we play our style really well. All things considered, I’m glad we came away with a point from the game. You never play for a tie, but our kids were exhausted, it was homecoming week, and so there were a lot of things we had to put out of our mind and focus on.”
Nick Tulp made six saves in the shutout.
Earlier in the week, East Hampton got past a strong Miller Place team, taking an early lead when Max Lerner scored on a header, with his back to the goal, after a free kick by Nick West in the 11th minute of the game. West scored off an assist from Kevin Ovando in the 72nd minute to provide some insurance. Tulp made five saves.
“That was an important win for us,” King said. “Miller Place is a good team and has lost a few one-goal games, so we knew they were going to come in and be desperate for a win.”
The win over Hampton Bays came on Saturday night under the lights as part of East Hampton’s homecoming festivities. King said he was concerned about how his team would perform, coming off the grueling game against Glenn the day before. But the Bonackers put King’s doubts to rest early on, taking a 2-0 lead at halftime. Ovando opened the scoring off a corner kick from West 19 minutes into the game, and just two minutes later, West scored off an assist from Henry Pillco. West finished up the scoring in the second half, finding the back of the net off a direct kick just four minutes into the second half. Tulp made two saves, and Jonathan Flores also saw time in goal, making one save.
“I was concerned going in what kind of product we were going to put out, but the guys really stepped up,” King said. “We played every player on the roster, and we really didn’t drop our level.”
East Hampton was scheduled to take on undefeated Shoreham/Wading River on Tuesday, September 23, before getting a much needed break. The Bonackers will travel to Huntington to take on St. Anthony’s in a non-league game at 5:30 p.m. The Friars are ranked in the top 10 among all high school boys soccer teams in the nation.
The East Hampton girls soccer team moved to 1-4 in League VI, 2-4 overall after a 1-0 win over Hampton Bays at home on September 16 in a non-league game. Manuela Hurtado scored the only goal of the game 12 minutes into the second half. Wylee Musnicki beat a defender in the corner before making a nice cross to Hurtado for the assist.
Cecelia Blowe continued her fine play in goal, making six saves.
“Cecelia has been playing outstanding,” East Hampton head coach Mike Vitulli said. “I believe she is second in the county in saves, which is good and bad. She’s playing well, but we’re giving away far too many shots.”
Before the win over the Lady Baymen, East Hampton lost 6-0 at home to Bayport/Blue Point on Friday night, and fell 4-0 at Glenn on Thursday.
“Playing back to back made it rough,” Vitulli said. “Glenn, we had seen the week before, and we played them a little bit tougher this time, but they grinded us out a little bit. They were subbing quickly, and they were a lot more athletic than us, so we had a hard time.”
Vitulli added that his team had a tough time containing Bayport striker Nicole Copping, an All-County player who scored twice in that game.
ON THE SCHEDULE: Boys—Tuesday, 9/23, vs. Shoreham/Wading River, 4:30 p.m.; Saturday, 9/27, at St. Anthony’s, 5:30 p.m.; Tuesday, 9/30, at Amityville, 4:30 p.m. Girls—Tuesday, 9/23, at Shoreham, 4:30 p.m.; Saturday, 9/27, vs. Mercy (non-league), noon; Monday, 9/29, vs. Mount Sinai, 4:30 p.m.