East Hampton's Donte Donegal, a four-year varsity starter, carried his success from this season over to the all-star game. The forward led the Suffolk team with a goal and an assist in a 3-2 win over Nassau yesterday in the first of two senior all-star boys soccer games at St. Joseph's College.
"I was very proud to be picked for the all-star game," Donegal said. "I am so honored."
With the game tied, Donegal scored an unassisted goal directly into the net, giving his team a 2-1 lead with 15 minutes remaining.
Donegal is used to a winning team. East Hampton was 14-2-1 this season before losing to Glenn in a Class A semifinal match on penalty kicks. Donegal finished the season with six goals and seven assists.
"I started playing on the varsity team in ninth grade and I feel I've improved since then," Donegal said. "I learned to dribble less and take better control of the ball."
Donegal's East Hampton and all-star game teammate Denis Espana acknowledged his friend's toughness and skill.
"He's an amazing player and teammate," Espana said. "He was great today."
Donegal said he hopes to play soccer in college, and has been considering attending Elmira.
Clarke's Efrain Cruz and Uniondale's Alvaro Baquedano were the two goal scorers for Nassau. Cruz scored with 2:18 remaining for Nassau's second goal. The senior led Clarke with 11 goals and four assists on the season.
Baquedano scored an unassisted goal in the 31st minute with a direct pass from 5 yards out. Baquedano led the Knights this season with seven goals and five assists. They finished 5-4-2 overall, but fell to Farmingdale in the Class AA quarterfinals.
Defenseman Ian Prate from West Islip won the MVP award for Suffolk. Prate was strong in the box and sufficiently defended goaltenders Max Karen from Glenn and Rene Melgar from Central Islip.
Among the top players who took the field in the morning event were Andres Tapia, a forward from Hampton Bays who scored the game's first goal, giving Suffolk a 1-0 lead. Tapia led Hampton Bays this season with nine goals and eight assists.
Mark Ciaburri from Sachem North also had a goal for Suffolk. Ciaburri scored in the 78th minute, giving Suffolk a 3-1 lead.
Ciaburri and Sachem North made the playoffs this season before losing to Central Islip, 2-1, in the quarterfinals.