In the past three county finals, Southold boys soccer was sent home after a one-goal loss, including an overtime defeat to Greenport last season.
In Saturday afternoon’s rematch, a blistering start from the First Settlers ensured there would be no such late drama again.
Joe Silvestro had a goal and two assists and Danny Palencia added two goals to lead No. 1 Southold past No. 2 Greenport, 5-2, in the Suffolk Class C championship at Diamond in the Pines in Coram. The First Settlers scored four goals in the first half and will play Rhinebeck in a state regional semifinal at Middletown High School on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
“It was super important [to get out to a fast start], because it has come down to the wire every time and last year, we had a heartbreaker,” Silvestro said. “It stinks to lose like that so we didn’t want to take any chances.”
“We've been working for this goal since we've been freshmen, and it hurts so bad to lose it, so it just makes it feel that much better that we finally got it,” said goalkeeper Cole Brigham, who stopped all nine shots he faced before he was subbed out.
The First Settlers (8-8-1) went to work quickly, as Jaishaun McRae scored off a corner kick in the 11th minute. Elmer Deleon added to the lead about eight minutes later off an assist from Silvestro, before Silvestro turned scorer to make it 3-0.
Palencia got his first goal inside the 12-minute mark to extend the lead to four.
“We just came out with a lot of fire today,” Silvestro said. “We were just fired up. This is my fourth year playing in the county finals, and for a lot of the other guys, they had played in two or three and I just didn’t envision a losing scenario today.”
Palencia added to the Southold lead with 20:49 left in the match on a breakaway.
Drew Wolf and Cesar Chapeton scored for Greenport (5-10-2) in the final three minutes of the match.
With the county title in hand, a 160-mile bus ride up to Middletown and the regional semifinals now await the First Settlers.
Said Brigham: “That bus ride might not be fun, but we’ll definitely have fun playing in the game.”