Things have been on the up-and-up for the East Hampton girls soccer team all season long, but as respectable as their 6-7-1 overall record is this season—a big improvement from last season’s 0-16 finish—it may not be enough to snag a playoff spot.
Due to the power points system used in a division format, it is becoming more and more evident that the Lady Bonackers won’t have enough points to finish as one of the top 10 Class A teams in the county, regardless of how they finish out the season this week. They play their season finale at Hampton Bays on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. and, as of Monday afternoon, sat in 17th place among fellow Class A schools with 88.63 points. Still, the turnaround had made second-year head coach Cara Nelson happy.
“I am so unbelievably proud of the girls this season,” she said in an email on Sunday night. “They came back after an 0-16 season, bought into the style of play that Coach [Joe Digirolomo] and I emphasized, put in the hard work and effort, and now, with two games to go, we have a chance at a winning record. That’s a successful season to me!”
East Hampton lost its last two games against the top two Class B teams in the county, a 2-0 loss at Mattituck/Southold/Greenport on Friday and 3-0 loss at Babylon on October 10. Prior to those losses the Lady Bonackers were unbeaten in six straight games, beginning with a 3-1 home victory over Port Jefferson on September 26 and concluding with a 4-1 non-league victory at Copiague on October 9. Junior Alden Powers (two goals, one assist) and sophomore Asha Hokanson (one goal, two assists) each had three points in the win at Copiague, and sophomore Kayla Carpio also scored for East Hampton.
A 1-0 victory at Wyandanch on Thursday, October 11, clinched a playoff berth for the East Hampton boys soccer team (7-6 League V, 8-7 overall). Alex Vanegas, a sophomore, scored the game winner 15 minutes into the second half off an assist from senior Zane Musnicki. The win avenges both a 3-1 loss at home to Wyandanch back on September 22 and last year’s 3-1 loss at Wyandanch in an outbracket playoff game.
The victory also comes with a key game against undefeated League V Champion Amityville looming on Wednesday at home (4:30 p.m.) in the regular-season finale. While both teams have already clinched playoff spots, it should be a deciding game in terms of seeding within the Class A bracket.
Last week’s victory at Wyandanch was Bonac’s fourth straight, and it hasn’t lost yet this month. East Hampton defeated Westhampton Beach, 3-0, at home on October 9, turning around what had been a 3-1 loss in Westhampton Beach on September 20. Vanegas also scored in last week’s game along with junior Anthony Quinto and senior Brian Gonzalez.
The current four-game win streak for East Hampton comes on the heels of what was a five-game losing streak. East Hampton head coach Don McGovern said that the turnaround can be linked simply to the hard work the players have put in as of late.
“The boys have been working hard as a team in training and that work has paid off with positive results in our recent string of matches,” he said. “We have had some consistent, solid play from seniors setting the example for our younger players. Our goalkeeper Kurt Matthews, central defender Cris Criollo, midfielders Zane Musnicki and Sebastian Fuquen along with forward Brian Gonzalez have stepped up to meet the expectations placed upon them.”