Pierson/Bridgehampton’s Luis Padilla and Jorge Alvarado work together on scoring chances during practice whenever they can.
Good thing for the Whalers they do, because the duo connected when it mattered most in the Suffolk Class C boys soccer final on Saturday.
Padilla’s free kick from 40 yards found Alvarado, who scored in the 17th minute as top-seeded and defending champ Pierson / Bridgehampton defeated No. 2 Southold, 1-0, at Islip.
Pierson / Bridgehampton (16-1-1) meets the winner of the game between the Class C champs from Section I and Section IX for the Class C Southeast Regional final at 2 p.m. on Saturday at Diamond in the Pines.
“He and I are always together, working on plays and doing great things,” Padilla said of Alvarado. “We have so many chances to create with each other. He plays very well.”
Alvarado also plays multiple positions. Later in the game, with a few Whalers players on the sideline with injuries, Alvarado was moved to help with defense as Southold (14-3-1) dominated possession in the second half with 10 shots on goal thanks, in part, to a good wind at its back in the final 40 minutes.
But the Whalers defense, and goalkeeper Will Martin (six saves) were up to the challenge. Martin had a point-blank stop with 26:36 remaining in the contest that kept Southold off the scoreboard.
“We didn’t go to a conservative approach, we lost guys and we had to compensate for the wind which was an incredible factor,” Whalers coach Peter Solow said. “We spent most of the second half in our end.”
Solow also added that the Whalers missed a few counter opportunities in the second half that would have given his team a two-goal cushion.
“This late in the season, you can’t waste scoring opportunities,” Solow said. “We were very, very fortunate that we came out with a victory.”
The win meant a lot to Alvarado. The sophomore told teammate Alex Wesley, who acted as an interpreter, that the goal and the win: “Were very emotional.”
He added that he was: “Very happy. This is the first time he’s won this game. It’s a very big achievement.”
The Whalers have another week of practices before their next game, which Solow relishes.
“These guys could be a special team,” Solow said. “But we have a lot of work to do.”
Just like Padilla and Alvarado.