“Redemption Week” continued for our soccer teams after the boys dismissed Smithtown Christian yesterday afternoon, 2-0. It was the third time this week that our soccer teams have taken down a school they lost to twice the season before, with both the boys and girls taking revenge against Southold. On one of the last 80° days of the year, the Bears fiercely battled the Crusaders and came out with the victors, improving their record to 2-1, good enough for second in League VIII behind Port Jeff (3-0).
The offense had their chances from the beginning. In the second minute, Anuraag Sah put a great cross right in front of the goal that rolled out of bounds untouched. In the fourth minute, Sah again put a great touch on the ball, this time finding Pablo Celis whose shot was deflected away by a Crusader. For much of the opening twenty minutes it was Stony Brook that dominated the time of possession, but as the half wore on Smithtown Christian’s quality on offense improved as they began threatening goalie Wes Woodley. Poor communication and little possession from our midfield allowed the visitors to keep the ball on our half of the field for much of the last twenty minutes, but the Crusaders seemed content to fire shots from beyond twenty yards that either sailed through the football uprights or fell easily into the hands of Woodley. With about fifteen minutes left, the tight contest received a jolt of adrenaline when Sah accidentally kicked the opposing goalie as they both charged for the ball. Just minutes later, Lukas Alijosius and the keeper both tried to gain control of the ball and Alijosius was the recipient of an intentional elbow to the chest. Alijosius understandably took umbrage to the hit and said as much to the netminder, for which he received a yellow card. An important game had become personal and it showed in the passionate play from both squads. The Brook had one more chance before the horn when Jon Wentling gave a beautiful pass to Celis who was foiled by a great save from the keeper with fifteen seconds left. | 0-0
The close chances continued for the Bears in the early going, but we were still unable to bulge the back of the net. In the 51st minute, Tyler Anderson nearly scored on a great corner kick by Sah, but came up empty. Just seconds after Anderson’s near glory, Smithtown counter-attacked and Woodley had to leave his line to a make a sliding stop to prevent the Crusaders from drawing blood. A game that had become a battle between two great goalies finally yielded some scoring in the 59th minute.
Khoren Lawson took the ball up the right sideline, then stopped to the left of the corner flag and planted his foot on the ball to plan his next move. A chaotic sequence ensued when he beat his man on the goal line and sent a gorgeous ball into the box. Alijosius ripped a shot into the Crusader keeper, then 8th-grader Donnie Pius took a shot that was again blocked by the prostrate goalie. The ball rebounded out and laid untouched for what seemed like an eternity until Wentling stepped up and blasted home the Brook’s first goal, preventing yet another frustrating outcome for the offense. Just one minute later, Smithtown had a great chance at an equalizer, but Woodley made a textbook diving save. Four minutes after that, Woodley was tested again but went down to his knees to make a difficult stop. A very even battle swung decisively in favor of the Brook when Lawson again beat his man down the right side and gave a great pass to Sah who drilled the top shelf of the goal. The Bears did not let up until time expired as freshman Nate Hicks nailed the cross bar with under five minutes remaining. | 2-0
Jon Wentling and Anuraag Sah scored 10 minutes apart in the second half to lift Stony Brook in League VIII. Sah’s goal was assisted by Khoren Lawson, who drove the right flank and crossed it to his teammate. Stony Brook goalkeeper Wes Woodley made several breakaway stops to preserve the shutout.
The Bears played very well in the second half after a relatively lackluster opening period. The opposing offense seemed to have better quality and technique in their possession for much of the contest and put more shots on goal than we did; however, our forwards and midfielders persevered through their early futility and our ability to finish late was the difference. Tyler Anderson and Jon Wentling were very solid in the backfield and Wes Woodley continued his fantastic season with his first shutout. The Bears will travel to Greenport in the next game on Tuesday, Sept. 28 @ 4:30pm.