Here's a "Once upon a time" story: Back in 1995, when the Wildcats were mere kittens, Shoreham-Wading River scored 38 goals. For the season.
Hard to imagine, huh?
Especially so when compared with the offensive juggernaut this program has become. In the opening minutes of Tuesday night's Suffolk Class C final, Shoreham looked almost capable of threatening that old goal total . . . in one game.
"It's all about ball movement and being unselfish," Bray, a midfielder, said of his point-guarding. "You dodge, beat your man and then look for whoever you can find open in the crease."
There were several. Tim Rotanz had four goals and three assists, Anthony Visintin scored four goals, Troy Miller had three goals and three assists, and Hunter Hayes two goals and two assists for Shoreham-Wading River (17-1). Chris Palazotto needed only three saves in the win as his defense, led by Ryan Stern, cut off cutters and seldom allowed penetration.
Shoreham boasts a bevy of skilled shooters, surgical passers and a squad full of speedsters who regularly dart through defenses.
Then throw in Jake Kavanagh. The faceoff specialist won 12 of 17 in the first half, wrestling away extra possessions and igniting fast breaks. Shoreham jumped out to a 3-0 lead just 1:13 in.
"[Bayport] took away my wing guys, so I had to bring it to myself a bunch and it worked out pretty well," Kavanagh, who also scored on a rip shot from 11 yards out late in the first half, said of the faceoffs. "This team has great chemistry and it's fun scoring like we do, so I like playing my part in that."
Visintin scored three first-quarter goals, staking the Wildcats to a 7-1 lead. Miller's goal with 9:54 left made it 18-5.
"It was tough back in the day, and we only had 14 kids on varsity," SWR coach Tom Rotanz said of the program's lean years. "It makes you grateful and really appreciative of what we've got right now."