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Top 10: Moments of 2015

December 29, 2015
#3 | Robbie Colarusso knifes through traffic during the County Championship

#3 | Robbie Colarusso knifes through traffic during the County Championship

The 2015 calendar year was packed with memorable moments for the blue and white. As we close out the year and look ahead to 2016, let’s look back at the moments that defined Stony Brook Athletics in 2015.


Honorable Mention | Silent Night | Dec. 5th

Despite the packed stands, Swanson Gymnasium was eerily silent for the first 2 minutes, 30 seconds of the boys’ basketball team’s match-up with Rocky Point. Then, when Luke O’Connor scored on a tough layup to give the Bears’ their 10th point, the Blue Fan Group, bedecked with Christmas sweaters and Santa hats, erupted. The BFG drew its inspiration for the antic from Taylor University who started the “Silent Night” tradition in the 1980s. The sudden burst of noise was so disorienting for the visiting Eagles that they promptly turned the ball over on their ensuing possession. In front of a raucous crowd the boys’ would go on to trounce their Class A foe, 76-60. O’Connor led the Bears with 18 points while Chester Kayonga added 17.

#10 | Bears Down Pierson Under the Lights | Sept. 11th

In the home opener for the girls’ soccer team, the Bears downed Pierson 3-1 in front of a rowdy Blue Fan Group. The night began when the girls ran onto the field through a tunnel made by the blue-clad army, but the party really got started when Nana-Saa Kessie scored the game’s first goal with under six minutes left in the first half. As Kessie’s strike found the back left corner of the net, the Blue Fan Group sent 100 blue and white streamers into the air in a euphoric celebration. Morgan Pius and Annie Skorobohaty also added goals to top the Whalers on a magical night.

#9 | Holvik Baffles Greenport | April 23rd

In an 11-1 victory for the baseball team, senior Erik Holvik dominated the Porters with a complete game 3-hitter, during which he fanned a career-high 9 batters. Holvik was a force at the plate as well, recording 3 hits including a first inning double. Ben Walter’s 2-run home run over the center field wall punctuated the offense for the Brook. Holvik would go on to earn the Bears’ first All-County nod since Pete Grimm in 1999.

#8 | Harrigan Excels Among Best | Nov. 28th

Miranda Harrigan closed her cross country season with a crescendo, finishing 18th out of 123 runners in the freshman/sophomore race at the Foot Locker Northeast Regionals. Harrigan covered the famed Van Cortlandt Park course in 21:00.6, good enough for 9th among sophomores to earn First Team All-Northeast honors.

#7 | Bears Stun Porters | Oct. 1st

The boys’ soccer team treated us to a riveting season, making it hard to pick out just one moment in a year when the Bears turned an 0-3 League VIII record into a berth in the Suffolk County semifinals. There was the 1-0 thriller over Smithtown Christian, two dominant victories over Port Jeff, a 7-0 win over Greenport that sent them into the playoffs, and a 1-0 victory over Pierson; however, none of these moments would have happened without a 5-minute stretch of soccer that defined the season. There is often a watershed moment in a team’s season that can determine the course it takes. One uplifting victory or one devastating loss can either infuse or infect the team’s performance for the remainder of the year. The Bears had their moment on October 1st when they hosted Greenport on Fitch Field. The 1-3 Bears desperately needed a win, but it was the Porters who held a 3-2 advantage with under 5 minutes remaining. This was the Bears’ watershed moment for the 2015 season. It would have been easy to succumb to frustration and safe to embrace despair rather than to hope, but the boys did not capitulate. In a moment of desperation they rose to the challenge and won a game for the ages. As the clock dipped below five minutes, David Choi sent a corner kick into the box. Mac Bohuny made a run to the far post and put a beautiful header across the goal line to bring the Bears back from the brink, knotting the game at 3-3.

Greenport countered with a scoring chance on a free kick just outside the 18-yard box, but the Bear defense brushed it aside. With time left for one final push before overtime, the Bears attacked. Greenport played a throw-in right to Jai Narain who served a great pass to Alvaro Martinez Torres. The Spaniard beat one defender, dribbled to the edge of the 18-yard box and unleashed a low rocket between two other defenders that beat the keeper on the near post with just 8 seconds remaining in the match. The miraculous victory was the foundation of what became a six-game winning streak, propelling the Bears from last place into the playoffs.

#6 | Tutuska Shines at Counties | Feb. 14th

At the Division II Suffolk County Wrestling Championships, 7th-grader Jake Tutuska turned in a memorable performance by placing 4th in the 152-pound weight class. Since he entered the tournament unseeded, Tutuska had to wrestle his way out of the preliminary round. It didn’t take him long, pinning a Southampton Mariner in 51 seconds. In his quarterfinal match he upset the 4th-seeded Tanner of Babylon, pinning him as well in 3:25. In the semifinals he wrestled the eventual County Champion, senior Ralph Oswald of Hampton Bays, falling 4-9. Oswald would go on to be named Most Outstanding Wrestler of the meet, wrestling less than a week after losing his father.

The loss dropped Tutuska into the loser’s bracket, but he worked his way back into the placement round after pinning a Port Jefferson wrestler at 4:34. In the consolation round Tutuska, exhausted from four other bouts on the day, succumbed to the 3rd-seeded Lewis of Center Moriches to claim the fourth spot. “It was an enormous task,” said coach Mark Maningo, alluding to Tutuska wrestling five matches in one day. “The future is bright for him.” While Maningo has had a 7th-grader win a League Championship in the past, never has he had a young wrestler go so far at the county level.

#5 | Eagles & Records Left in Wake | Oct. 22nd

In the last dual meet of the season for the girls’ swim team, the Bears swamped West Babylon, 54-40. The volleyball and boys’ and girls’ soccer teams that packed the Swanson Natatorium stands were treated not only to some excited races, but to some historic performances. In the 50 freestyle, Rebecca Crane broke Amanda Shapiro’s ’04 school record (26.13), winning in a time of 25.67. Five events later, Rachel Crane wrote her own name into the record books, breaking the 100 backstroke record, set in 1992 by Christina Haag ’92 (1:06.90), in a time of 1:04.64. Other individual event winners included Francine Leung in the 200 freestyle (2:33.82), Rebecca Crane in the 100 butterfly (1:07.35), Alena Yukova in the 100 freestyle (1:12.58), Josie Levy in the 500 freestyle (7:13.12), and Rachel Crane in the 100 breaststroke (1:30.99).

#4 | Bears Hold Court | April 30th

The boys’ tennis team closed the regular season with a 6-1 victory over Bellport to earn their third League Championship since 2010. In the previous match the Bears trounced Sachem North, 6-1, to earn at least a share of the title. After narrowly beating the Flaming Arrows 4-3 on April 14th, the Bears made quick work of them the second time around, highlighted by Roman Volovoy’s gritty win at third singles, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4.

#3 | 3-Peat for Boys’ Basketball | Feb. 16th

In what has become a yearly tradition, Stony Brook and Pierson met in the Suffolk County Class C Championship for the 4th straight time. The Bears emerged victorious for the 3rd straight year with a 44-39 comeback victory to become just the second team to ever with three consecutive Class C titles (Wyandanch 1981-83). The Bears won the two regular season match-ups by a combined four points, so both sides knew they were in for a battle. Some hot shooting in the second quarter gave the Bears a 9-point edge, but they mustered only 3 points in the third quarter to trail by 5 as the game entered the 4th quarter. With under six minutes to play the Whalers held a 6-point advantage when the Bears turned on the full-court press. From the moment the press went on, the Brook outscored Pierson 14-3 to close out the game. It began with an open court steal by Luke Meyer and a layup from Jyles Etienne. Meyer followed by pilfering the inbounds pass, eventually leading to a huge three-pointer from Harry Zhu to cut Pierson’s lead to 35-36. After a Pierson timeout, Meyer came up with another steal and layup to vault the blue and white into the lead. Pierson, refusing to go down without a fight, scored their last field goal of the game to take a 38-37 lead. A crucial possession ensued for the Bears and Luke O’Connor stepped up when his team needed him most.

The sharpshooting lefty drilled the biggest three-pointer of his career (so far) with 2:15 remaining to give the Bears the lead back, then Mac Bohuny came up with a huge steal on the ensuing Pierson possession. After a Stony Brook miss, Etienne came up with the most important rebound of the game, eventually drawing a foul from Pierson’s Robbie Evjen to maintain possession for the Bears. After a timeout, Meyer grabbed a rebound and, while falling out of bounds, gave a gorgeous pass to Etienne underneath who scored a crucial layup with 1:33 left that gave the Bears a 4-point cushion on the way to another championship victory. Robbie Colarusso led the Bears with 17 points, playing half the game with a tear in his left shoulder.

#2 | Sridhar Queen of Division III | Oct. 13th

Sadhana Sridhar is 12-years-old. She is also the champion of Division III tennis and the owner of an undefeated record at first singles. The 8th-grade phenom, who picked up a racket for the first time just two years ago, sliced her way through the tournament, dropping a total of seven games in four matches to join the ranks of Tylah Gantt, (2010 & 2011), Erica Fugelsang (1996-1998), and Cathy O’Neill (1985) as the only individual Division or Conference Champions in program history. Sridhar went into the tournament as the #1 seed after compiling a 12-0 regular season record. Following a first round bye, she dispatched Rocky Point’s Kaitlyn Kennedy (6-1, 6-0), Bayport-Blue Point’s Addie Zegel (6-0, 6-0), and Middle Country’s Olivia Zhu (6-3, Ret.), to earn a place in the final against Port Jeff’s Rachel Collins. Sridhar made quick work of the 2nd-seeded Collins, scorching four aces in the first set to win 6-2, then overpowering the Royal in the second set, 6-1.

#1 | Etienne Soars | June 27th

Jyles Etienne closed a remarkable track season by finishing in 7th place in the high jump at the Bahamas Open Nationals with a height of 6′ 8″. Earlier in the season, the 6′ 5″ Bahamian had broken Bernard Mumo’s school record of 6′ 4.75,” set in 1965, but this new plateau shattered his own record by 2.5 inches. His mark placed him at 10th in America among all sophomores and left him just .03 meters shy of the qualifying mark for the IAAF World Youth Championships. For good measure, Etienne also took 4th place in the javelin throw at the Bahama Nationals. His distance of 41.13 meters broke our school record by 0.01 meters.


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