If the saying, “Offense scores points and defense wins championships” seems cliché or untrue, just look toward the now two-time Suffolk Class C champion Port Jefferson.
The Royals (14-1-1) defense defended the field and the title reign, securing the win against Southold/Greenport Friday at St. Joseph’s (LI), 8-0.
“Our defense does not get enough recognition,” Brittany Fazin said. “The main reason we have the ball most of the time is because of our defense.”
The game was one-sided with half the field not in use thanks to the defenders. The Royals play the backfield often, returning the ball to the defenders and moving the ball back up to the midfielders, spreading play across the field.
There was a sea of white jerseys everywhere.
“Every goal and every assist starts from the defense and the goalie,” Jillian Colucci said.
Fazin and Colucci both credit the defense but they forgot to mention their scoring abilities along with the rest of the Royals’ offense. Fazin scored two goals and Colucci scored three. Grace Swords, Hailey Hearney and Alexis Wakefield each scored a goal.
“It’s about the team’s success. If we need to get the job done, then we need to get it done,” Colucci said.
“It’s a team effort,” Fazin echoed.
Port Jefferson will next play in a regional against a team from Westchester County on Nov. 5th. Their goal is to become state champions for the second time in a row.
“I think this is one of our best seasons ever. Our bond has reached its max,” Fazin said. “I’m really proud of this team.”
“It’s an irreplaceable experience,” Colucci said.
Disanti leads Babylon to Class B crown
The topic of defense rang true for the Class B game between Babylon and Center Moriches. At the end of regulation, both teams were scoreless. The end of the first, second and two five-minute sudden death overtimes, also scoreless.
In the penalty kick shootout, all five kickers scored. Next round was sudden death. Val Velez from Babylon stepped up, and scored a goal. Center Moriches stepped up and the ball was blocked by goalkeeper Kathryn Disanti, clinching the win for Babylon, 6-5, in penalty kicks.
“PKs are a complete mind game. They have nothing to do with skill, nothing to do with power. You have to read the player,” Disanti said. “When I saw [Center Moriches] look to the left, I knew she was going to the right. I jumped as hard as I could and swatted it away.”
Olivia Maldonado, Sarah Quigley, Sophie Ryan, Hannah Giovinazzo, Tegan Castellucio and Velez each scored in the penalty-kick round.
Babylon (13-2) will play Wheatley or Carle Place for the Long Island championship Nov. 4.
“Being on this team for four years . . . it was four years in the making trying to get here,” Disanti said. “We put up the biggest fight of our life and to finally beat them . . . it’s amazing.”