Jon Nierenberg leads Friends Academy to Class C title
For the past two years, Friends Academy senior midfielder Jon Nierenberg knew what losing in a Long Island Championship was like.
On Tuesday, he learned what it was like to win one.
Nierenberg scored two goals in the first half as Friends Academy captured the Long Island Class C championship, defeating Southold, 5-1, at Diamond in the Pines in Coram.
"The last two years were a little tough with losing," Nierenberg said. "So we knew what that felt like and so we made sure we came out strong."
He wasted no time.
Nierenberg scored his first goal in the second minute. After Oliver Moran connected for a goal near the crease with 27:05 left in the first, Nierenberg put the Quakers ahead, 3-0, seven minutes later.
"Getting on the board early was crucial," Nierenberg said. "Because mentally, if you're down by a goal or two it's a little tough to come back."
The Quakers (12-2-2) added two more goals in the first half. Harrison Seidman scored on a pretty shot off a corner kick with 11:40 left and Liam Bardong added the final goal about five minutes later.
"We entered the second half with the same intensity," Nierenberg said.
Saner Bendary and Max Heffron excelled defensively for the Quakers. Southold played with more urgency in the second half and Drew Sacher scored the team's lone goal unassisted with five minutes left.
"Entering this game we talked about moving the ball well," Friends Academy coach Marshall Lindner said. "Today we certainly did that."
Friends Academy will play in a regional final Saturday against the Section I/Section IX winner (time and site to be determined). Southold finished 12-5-1.
Friends Academy, which hadn't played since Oct. 18, doesn't seem to mind not knowing who its next opponent will be.
"We didn't know who we would play today until a couple of days ago," Nierenberg said. "But we made sure we were prepared, and the feeling of winning this is just so great."