On this day last year, the boys’ soccer team earned a thrilling win over Mattituck. The Tucker’s home field has long been a perilous destination for our soccer teams. You can count the number of victories we have had against their boys’ program on one hand, which made this triumph all the more surprising. The Bears battled the Tuckers to a 0-0 draw through 80 minutes of regular time, then 15 minutes of overtime before senior Charlie Kwak buried the biggest goal of his career. He took the ball up the sideline and blasted a shot from a nearly impossible angle to stun the Class B power with five minutes left in double-overtime. It was the first time we had taken down the blue and gold since October 2, 2004. Kwak remembered his moment:
I remember clearly that I was standing at the top–the farthest I could go without being called out for offsides. I took a first touch with the inside of my foot, directing it straight down so I could serve a cross. All of a sudden I heard Coach Whallon’s voice shouting, ‘Go for the goal! Go for the goal! Go for the goal side!’ So I took a second touch into the 18-yard box with the outside of my foot and I saw to my left a fast approaching defender and in a split second I looked at the goal and the goalie was coming out and I took the shot.
I remember when I looked up all I could see, for only a fraction of a second though, was the ball curling around the stretched arms of the goalie. That was the sweetest shot I’ve ever made in my life and I cannot forget the sensation of it. I still vividly remember that moment and remember that pressure of the ball on the inside of my right foot–that touch. And the second I confirmed that the ball was in all my fatigue and exhaustion disappeared immediately. I was so pumped and joyful and everybody came around me. I will not forget that moment for the rest of my life and whenever I talk about the sweetest moment of my life, this will always be the topic.