If a team needed any more incentive to win a playoff game, the Westhampton Beach boys soccer team will have it.
The Hurricanes lost, 3-2,—what head coach Don O’Brien called a sloppy game for his team—at Shoreham/Wading River on October 24. They are slated to play at the same Shoreham team today, Thursday, in the opening round of the Suffolk County Class A playoffs at 2:30 p.m. O’Brien is hoping revenge will motive his team to victory.
The winner of that game will play at top-seeded Sayville in the semifinals on Monday at 2 p.m.
“We’re the five seed, they’re the four seed, so we’re evenly matched,” he said. “We split our [regular season] games so we’re even there. I’m happy we’re getting the chance to play them again because we played so poorly the last time out. We would like to make up for that.”
Back on October 5, the Hurricanes defeated Shoreham/Wading River, 2-0, at home, and in the first half of last week’s game, just by looking at the score, it looked as if the Hurricanes were in line for another victory, leading 2-1 at the half, thanks to goals by juniors Furkan Akyol and Jordan Daniels. But, as O’Brien pointed out, his team was still playing poorly even though it had the lead.
The Wildcats tied the game up, 2-2, in the second half, then scored the game-winner with 4:28 remaining in regulation. Shoreham took a free kick from 30 yards out and Wildcat Travis Qualley retrieved the rebound and knocked it in for the eventual game-winner.
“We didn’t play well,” O’Brien simply said. “We came out flat and we had three defensive or goal keeper mistakes. We didn’t play well enough to win.”
The loss, O’Brien added, also cost his team a home playoff game. A win, or a tie, would have made the Hurricanes the fourth-seed in the Class A bracket and Shoreham would have been the fifth seed.
Westhampton Beach wrapped up its regular season with a 5-1 victory over Amityville at home on October 26. Akyol and junior Angel Saquic both had two goals each and junior Serkan Kopuz also scored for the Hurricanes.
Westhampton Beach finished the regular season 7-4-1 in League VI, 10-5-1 overall, good enough for fourth place in the league.