MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. — Despite a stellar performance in goal from senior Cole Brigham, the Southold boys soccer season came to an end Tuesday evening.
Brigham made 10 saves, including a stop on a penalty kick and a series of diving efforts but Southold fell to Rhinebeck, 2-0, in a Class C state regional semifinal Tuesday evening at Middletown High School.
"What a way to finish," coach Andrew Sadowski said. "I'm very proud of him and I'm going to miss him a lot."
Noah Lortie scored a pair of second-half goals for Rhinebeck, which advances to face Hamilton in the regional final on Saturday evening at Pace University.
The result brought an end to a strong season for the First Settlers, who dominated Saturday’s county championship after their previous three campaigns ended in heartbreak in that game.
"I'm incredibly proud of this team," Sadowski said. "They worked really hard through the whole season after a rough start and won a county title. We played a really good team and fought tooth and nail all the way until the end."
Southold had its hands full with a potent Rhinebeck attack that threatened from the opening kickoff. After being denied repeatedly by Brigham, the Duchess county squad took the lead after Lortie scored in the 51st minute and again from the penalty spot in the 63rd.
The Rhinebeck squad had ample chances to build an early lead, but Brigham did fine work to send the game into the break without a goal.
He was on hand in the 10th minute to make a close-range save after a defensive miscue, as Rhinebeck began to attack in waves and made another stop about 14 minutes later.
Southold had a trio from shots from long range in the first half, including a blast from Danny Palencia in the 17th minute, but after the goalie failed to catch it cleanly, he recovered before Southold could get a hold of the rebound.
Rhinebeck earned a penalty kick in the 30th minute, but Brigham was up to the task, diving to his left to smother the attempt.
At the other end, Southold had a scoring opportunity of its own, when Joe Silvestro forced the Rhinebeck keeper to make a diving save.
Rhinebeck got its breakthrough 11 minutes into the second half, when Lortie found space in the penalty area and sent a low shot into the back of the net.
About 12 minutes later, Rhinebeck won another penalty kick after Southold was called for a handball in the penalty area, and Lortie stepped up the line a second time and was able to convert.
Rhinebeck continuously put pressure on Southold, forcing more saves from Brigham, including an acrobatic dive to stop a shot from point-blank range and another that forced him to fully extend to get the ball to safety.