By Gavin Menu
A slip of the hands and an unlucky bounce was all it took for things to unravel for the Pierson-Bridgehampton girls varsity soccer team on Saturday.
The Lady Whalers fell, 6-2, to visiting League VII-leader Port Jefferson on a gray and rain-soaked homecoming day at Mashashimuet Park as two unlikely second-half goals opened the floodgates for the Lady Royals.
Pierson, which also lost to Greenport-Southold, 4-2, on Tuesday to fall to 2-3 in league play, actually led Port Jeff by a goal in the first half with seniors Sophie Gianis and Lindsay Cox scoring goals. But a late goal by Port Jefferson tied the game going into halftime and swung the momentum to the visitor’s side despite an enthusiastic home crowd.
Less than 10 minutes into the second half, Port Jeff’s Demitria Ulino launched a high, fading shot toward the Lady Whalers’ net where the team’s normally reliable senior goalie, Julia Schiavoni, reached up to make what looked like an easy save. The ball slipped from her hands, though, and bounced over her head and into the goal. Several minutes later, another shot ricocheted off the crossbar before being knocked back into the goal to give Port Jeff (4-0, League VII) a commanding two-goal lead.
Schiavoni was under siege the entire second half and actually made a great save with 10 minutes remaining, but the damage had already been done. Now the Lady Whalers will look toward October 10 and a rematch with the Lady Royals in Port Jefferson.
“We have if not the best, the second best goalie in the league and she let a ball by because it was wet,” head coach Haley Luzim said after the game had ended. “We needed to put the ball on goal the same way, because in these conditions anything can happen. We just didn’t take enough shots.”
The Lady Whalers will kick off a three-game road trip against Smithtown Christian today, October 4, at 4:30 p.m. The team’s next home game will come against Ross on October 15 at 4:30 p.m.