When they entered the locker room at East Hampton High School prior to Sunday morning’s practice session, the boys soccer team’s players saw waiting for them the Bridgehampton National Bank East End Cup, attesting to the fact that they’d bested nine other teams in a tournament that dates to 2002.
The Bonackers shut out all three of their tournament opponents — Mattituck by 4-0, Hampton Bays by 3-0, and Center Moriches by 4-0.
Still, there was an outside chance that Westhampton Beach, which played at Southampton Saturday night, might sneak in. Though, to have done so, the Hurricanes would have had to best the Mariners by four goals. As it was, Southampton won that game 1-0 and thus finished as the tourney’s runner-up with three wins and a goal differential of 9-2 vis-a-vis East Hampton’s 11-0.
It was the second year that East Hampton had entered a team in this competition, which has, since the beginning, been overseen by Don McGovern, the former Pierson head coach who now is assisting Rich King with East Hampton’s squad.
Mattituck, 2010’s Long Island Class B champion, had won the cup in 2008, ’09, and ’10, though last year’s win was owing to the fact that East Hampton had to forfeit its three wins on realizing it was carrying an ineligible player.
As it turned out, King and McGovern’s charges clinched the East End Cup with a 4-0 win here over Center Moriches last Thursday in which Mario Olaya — Newsday’s player of the week — scored three goals, one in the first half and two in the second. Milton Farez scored the other.
The Red Devils, a nonleague opponent — as were Mattituck and Hampton Bays — fought tenaciously, and though East Hampton clearly was the dominant team, Center Moriches used an offside trap to great effect in the first 40 minutes, causing one observer to say at halftime that the Bonackers must have been called for violating the offside rule more than 20 times in the first half.
“We were undisciplined,” King said when asked about the visitors’ tactic afterward. “There are several ways you can counter that trap — we adjusted better in the second half.”
Both teams’ goalies — East Hampton’s Esteban Aguilar and Center’s Jason Albert — came up with big saves early in the second half. Aguilar leapt up to the crossbar to bat away a 25-yard free kick in the 45th minute and recovered in time to parry the rebound. Two minutes later, Albert stopped Juan Carlos Barrientos, who had come in on him one-on-one. Albert came up big in the 52nd minute as well, preventing Olaya from making it 2-0.
Olaya did make it 2-0, however, in the 56th minute, as he headed the ball he’d received from Esteban Valverde over the onrushing Center Moriches keeper, who, after coming out to the edge of the box, could only look back helplessly over his shoulder as the ball entered the nets.
Bonac’s center midfielder capped his hat trick in the 77th minute, assisted by Esteban Vargas, and one minute later, Farez, assisted by Valverde, completed the rout.
Afterward, King said to his players that “the preseason is over now. It’s all league games after this — you’ll be in a battle every single match.”
East Hampton was to have begun the league season with Bayport-Blue Point here on Monday. The team was to have played at Shoreham-Wading River yesterday, and will be at home against Amityville on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.