Shawn Coles has scored more times than anyone else on Hauppauge’s boys soccer team this year, but his ninth goal was fairly inconsequential.
That’s because Chris Spadafora already had scored his first goal of the season and Matt Bogashewicz his second to lead the visiting Eagles in their 3-0 victory over Half Hollow Hills West on Thursday afternoon.
With three games remaining, Hauppauge (9-0-2) has locked up at least a share of the Suffolk IV title. The win over the Colts (7-4-0) gave the Eagles a six-point lead in the standings.
“When they score one of their first goals like that, it gives them a lot of steam and brings everyone else up as a team,” Coles said. “[Hills West] just didn’t have a chance after that.”
The Eagles were focused from the start, understanding the game’s magnitude and not underestimating the Colts, whom they beat, 2-1, on Sept. 15.
Hauppauge dominated possession early but did not break through until the 16th minute. Spadafora saw Tyler Grippo preparing to cross a ball into the 18-yard box from the left wing and sprinted into a scrum. He got enough on the ball to redirect it into the net.
“It felt great,” said Spadafora, who became the 16th Eagle to score this year. “I just worked hard, and it happened.”
Bogashewicz scored in the 56th minute. Jake Tursellino sent a ball over the top to Bogashewicz, who was just outside the 18-yard box on the left side. The sophomore finished inside the near post.
“I knew where I was going with the ball,” Bogashewicz said. “I knew the goalie was going to commit far side, so I tucked it in left side.”
That likely would have been enough for Hauppauge — Brendan Ilnitzki (seven saves) and the back line made all the right reads to keep Hills West off the scoreboard — but Coles netted the finishing touch in the 67th minute anyway.
It all added up to a huge victory for Hauppauge.
“They don’t have a chance of catching us,” Bogashewicz said. “We only have a few games left, and we’re just fired up.”