October 11, 2006

EH Boys Regain Winning Ways

"We hit a little bump in the road and ran into two pretty tough teams," said East Hampton boys' varsity soccer coach Jim Stuart as he commented on his team's two recent losses, the latest a 3-0 defeat at home against Sayville on Friday afternoon.

"We've had a few players bumped up and one player unable to play against Sayville after getting two yellow cards in our previous game," Stuart said. "When you miss one of your starters, it sometimes throws things into chaos. Hopefully, we'll be able to pull it together, rebound and score some goals."

Stuart was referring to defender Diego Guazhambo who was unable to play against the Golden Flashes (5-0-2 in League V) due to a mandatory one-game suspension for drawing two yellow cards in the Bonackers 2-0 loss to Rocky Point last Wednesday.

"Those two teams are perennial powerhouses, but we were able to play Sayville even in the first half," said Stuart. "Then we get hit with one of those phantom type [officiating] calls and the floodgates were opened from that point on."

After a scoreless first half, Sayville scored midway through the second and led 1-0 with 10 minutes remaining in regulation before Stuart was forced to move his team up the field in order to pressure the Golden Flashes defense as they searched for the tying goal.

Sayville added a pair of late goals that goaltender Alejandro Bolanos could not have stopped on his own despite playing a valiant game, which included turning aside 10 shots from one of Suffolk's top scoring teams.

"[Sayville] had a tremendous goalie and he made some great saves . . . he's an all-state type of player. Alejandro played very well for us and the goals they got late weren't his fault because I had to move everyone up."

East Hampton (4-3 in League V) should be a different team with the return of Guazhambo, one of the Bonackers top defensive players, to the lineup. And with the team continuing to get healthy, another successful run through the second half of its schedule will ensure East Hampton of a playoff spot despite being just one year removed from a 4-12 season.

"I think that we can right this ship and get everything back to normal again," said Stuart. "We can get back in the right direction. It will be a challenge, but a welcomed challenge."

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