Mattituck's Kaan Ilgin celebrates a goal during the Class B...

Mattituck's Kaan Ilgin celebrates a goal during the Class B final at the 2014 NYSPHSAA boys soccer championships at Middletown High School on Sunday, Nov. 16, 2014. Credit: Adrian Kraus

Kaan Ilgin, Kevin Williams, Mario Arreola and Paul and James Hayes, all seniors, joined the Mattituck boys varsity when they were freshmen in 2011.

"I knew then," coach Mat Litchhult said, "that they would be a special group."

Before becoming a superior unit, however, they experienced what it was like to come up short -- twice.

In 2012, the group's first season playing together as starters, Mattituck lost in a state semifinal. The following season, the Tuckers lost in the Long Island championship game.

But things ended differently this year. With one final try as seniors, the group achieved its dream.

Ilgin scored two goals and Williams added one as Mattituck defeated Beekmantown, 3-0, Sunday at Middletown High School for the state Class B boys soccer title.

"Finally, we did it," said Ilgin, who ended his career as one of Long Island's top players. "We've been waiting for this moment. We should have won last year and the year before, but this is the best feeling ever. I've never felt like this before."

It's the third state title for Mattituck (19-2), a school with a rich soccer tradition, and the first since 2003.

Where does this squad rank in Mattituck soccer history? Right at the top, according to Litchhult. "This is the best team that's ever come through Mattituck," said Litchhult, who graduated from the school and has coached there since 2002.

They played like it Sunday. "We're all seniors and we came here to do the job," Ilgin said. "We didn't come here to have fun. We came here to finish business."

Ilgin scored the game's first goal when he beat the goalkeeper on a breakaway off an assist from Arreola with 5:49 left in the first half.

The defensive efforts of both Hayes brothers, Walter Jacob, Matt Krauza, Oswaldo Aldaz, Erik Schwartz and Mike O'Rourke helped preserve the shutout. "Our defense was amazing with possessing the ball and playing them tight," Williams said.

Williams scored from the top of the penalty box to make it 2-0 with eight minutes left.

Then Ilgin got fancy. With about six minutes left, moments before attempting a direct kick, he turned to Williams and said, "Watch this."

Ilgin struck the ball from 35 yards and it sailed into the upper right corner of the net. "Everyone celebrated and I was just shocked," Williams said. "I couldn't believe it, even though I saw it with my own eyes."

What didn't surprise Williams was the outcome, a feat that took four years for one of Mattituck's most special groups to accomplish.

"This means a lot more now that I'm a senior," Williams said. "The best way to go out is as a winner. We had to go out on top this year."


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