By Gavin Menu
For a brief moment against visiting Stony Brook on Monday, the Pierson/Bridgehampton boys varsity soccer team played a perfect game of soccer as it was meant to be played. Late in the second half, senior midfielder Giordan Zeas launched a perfectly-placed cross toward the Stony Brook goal that sophomore Jack Fitzpatrick knocked into the back of the net with a header. The goal clinched a 2-0 victory for the Whalers, who improved their League VIII record to 4-2-1.
Until that moment, however, things were far from perfect for the Whalers.
“They were inept,” head coach Peter Solow said bluntly following the game, which was played under ominously dark skies. “That play is what they are capable of, but they didn’t show it today. They didn’t come to play, it’s that simple.”
Stony Brook came to town with a winless record, but despite a first half goal from Pierson’s Alex Liro, the Bears were in the game until Fitzpatrick’s goal and had plenty of chances to tie the score early in the second half, even though goalie Ian Barrett needed only two saves to preserve his first shutout of the year.
“Thank God we won the game, but there’s not a lot to be proud of,” Solow said as his team prepared for a crucial game at home last night against Southold, which defeated the Whalers, 5-0, back on September 19.
Pierson will have good chances to improve its record this week with road games at Ross on Tuesday, October 16 and a rematch against Stony Brook on October 18. Another road game against Greenport-Shelter Island on October 20 will be followed by the regular-season finale on October 23 at undefeated Port Jefferson, which beat Pierson, 6-0, on October 3 to solidify itself as the cream of the crop among Class C schools in Suffolk County. To have any chance at beating Port Jeff, Solow said his team would have to play like it did during the moments leading up to Fitzpatrick’s second-half goal on Monday.
“That is the way we are going to have to play if we are going to beat Southold or Port Jeff,” said Solow, who shouted to his players throughout Monday’s game to pass the ball more. “They were playing selfishly. The number of things we didn’t do today that we have to do against the better teams, well, the list is too long.”
Solow was pleased with his team’s second-half play against Smithtown Christian on Friday, October 5. The Whalers trailed, 2-0, before erupting for five, second-half goals, three coming off the foot of senior captain Christian Bautista, who also had two assists.
“We scored five goals in the second half and we played beautiful soccer,” said Solow, who quickly turned his attention back to the more recent performance against Stony Brook. “But we can’t compete against the better teams in the league if we play this way.”