By Ted Waddell
MILTON November 11, 2005 Five minutes can be a lifetime.
In Mondays opening round of the state Class D boys soccer tournament at Hudson Valley Sports Dome, two sectional champions squared off to decide which team was better. Those teams were Section IX champion Falcons of The Family School and the Section XI champion Porters from Greenport High School.
The Family School (11-8-1) took an early advantage as Eugene Thompson shot it into the net past Greenport goalkeeper Kyle Charters just 17 minutes and 11 seconds into the contest.
As the match raged back and forth across the artificial turf, both teams battled for a dominant position. Then with about five minutes remaining on the game clock, the Porters surged to clip the Falcons wings, sending The Family Schools hopes of a state title crashing to earth much like Icarus in search of the sun.
At 5:24 midfielder Diego Acero fired one past Falcons goalie Mike Zoltek from about five yards out.
Then a mere 24 seconds later, forward Ryan Golden stunned The Family School with a successful shot from the 18 yard mark. Greenport (13-2-2) held the Falcons scoreless in the final five minutes to win the game, 2-1.
Greenport outshot The Family School by a 23-10 margin. The Falcons had a 6-2 advantage in corner kicks.
Zoltek made eight saves, while Charters had five.
Tony Martelli, who is the Section IX boys soccer chairman, was impressed with the level of play during the recent sectionals. He also enjoyed the chance to watch kids play soccer in a protected dome.
It was successful
we had a lot of support from the players, coaches and parents, he said of the series of matches held over the past week at the Hudson Valley Sports Dome.
His take on the new indoor sports facility?
Last year, we ran into very bad weather rain, snow and unplayable conditions, Martelli said. This is a great facility with a new type of artificial grass. The kids really seem to like it.
Greenport Coach Craig Osmer said, We knew what we had to do, and we did it. In the second half, it was time to get down to it and we found the net.
Before the game, Family School Bill Musgrove told his team it was time to do or die.
At the end of it all, the Falcons learned a lesson: dont forget the Gatorade. In previous matches, the squad was well-fueled by bottles of the sports drink. However, this time they forgot to bring the Gatorade with them. Despite a last-minute run to the store to get a supply, it didnt stave off defeat.
We shut them out for 75 minutes, and then we just broke down on defense, Musgrove said. Its just that simple.
It was a great game, he added. I give them a lot of credit for hanging in there the whole game and then scoring late.
As the Greenport players erupted in jubilation, the Falcons Tom Gould bowed his head in despair out on the lonely turf and was consoled by a teammate.