November 01, 2006
Bonackers Hand Sayville First Loss: Big Win for Playoff-Bound EH
In a season that continues to produce fantastic results, the East Hampton boys' soccer team put a defining exclamation point on its record Thursday afternoon when the team handed then- undefeated Sayville a 2-1 loss in front of the Golden Flashes (10-1-3 in Suffolk League V) home fans.
Ernesto Valverde scored both of the Bonackers (7-5-2, 8-5-2 overall) goals including what proved to be the game-winner on a penalty kick with 15 minutes remaining in the second half. He has a team-leading nine goals for East Hampton, which with the win over Sayville, doubled its victory total from 2005, a season that saw the team finish in last place with a 4-12 overall record.
"It was one of the better games that we've played all year," said Bonackers head coach Jim Stuart. "Our goalie [Alejandro Bolanos] made some great saves and [Sayville] had some near misses, but we played well throughout."
The teams were knotted at 1-1 before Valverde blasted a laser beam of a shot past Golden Flashes keeper Tim Taylor to snap the tie. Valverde has emerged as East Hampton's catalyst on offense, helping the Bonackers open the season with a 4-0 start by scoring five goals in the team's first four games.
"I hope it's a big lift for them," said Stuart. "Winning [against Sayville] showed them that they can play with the best teams in our league. The Golden Flashes defeated the Bonackers 3-0 at East Hampton High School in the two teams' first meeting on October 6.
East Hampton qualified for the playoffs on October 24 with a 4-1 home win over Rocky Point. In that game, Valverde registered a goal and Eric Lopez had a goal and an assist. The win over the Eagles avenged the 2-0 loss that Rocky Point handed the Bonackers on October 4.
Seeded ninth in the Class A playoff bracket, East Hampton was scheduled to play at #8 seed Ellwood/John Glenn yesterday with the winner advancing to the Suffolk County Class A quarterfinals against #1 seed Sayville tomorrow.
"We're looking forward to a great game," Stuart said. "We're very excited [to have made the playoffs]. We're very happy. At this time of year, it's sort of a bittersweet end when the season is over. It's really nice that we get to play at least one more game."