The East Hampton Football Club, the strongest men’s soccer team East Hampton’s ever had, shut out the South Jamaica Portuguese 2-0 in a League Cup semifinal played at the Ross School Sunday.
Confronted with the locals’ superior ball-handling skills, the visitors grabbed and tugged and shoved, but Corey DeRosa, who, with John Romero and Luis Barrera, oversees the side, said afterward that “that’s what all these teams do when they play us. They were physical and hungry.”
Luis (Piri) Correa got East Hampton on the scoreboard when, with about 10 minutes left in the first half, he blasted a shot from about 15 yards out that zipped high into the nets at the near post.
East Hampton, which turned out in force — all 20 of the players saw action during the course of the game — attacked repeatedly, though South Jamaica’s defenders held them off. Literally.
Gehider Garcia was robbed of a goal early in the second half when the visitors’ large but agile goalie slid out and tipped his bid up and over the crossbar.
Going with the wind, as East Hampton was in the second period, did not confer the advantage one would have thought, for, on numerous occasions, the ball, off the feet of Antonio Padilla, John Romero, and Angel Garces, among others, sailed high and wide.
East Hampton’s starting goalie, Alex Mesa, was ejected about a third of the way through the final half for having fouled a shot-taker after making a big save.
DeRosa came off the bench as Mesa’s replacement, and, as evidence that the East Hampton F.C. can substitute with no loss in talent, he was to make later in the half two flat-out diving saves at point-blank range following steals from defenders — dazzling saves that preserved East Hampton’s 1-0 lead.
Mario Olaya, who not long ago led the East Hampton High School team to a county championship, entered the game near its end, and was twice taken down on separate forays before sliding in to bury a ground-hugging cross from Leonel Uchupaille into the right corner of South Jamaica’s goal.
Olaya’s score, which came with about five minutes to go, clinched the big win, which advanced the East Hampton F.C. to the League Cup final, to be played at Dreier Offerman Park in Brooklyn at noon on Sunday, June 1.
The team, said DeRosa, is also to play soon in the Division III State Cup final.
“All told,” he said, “including divisional and cup play, and tournaments, we’re 26-0.”
He added that East Hampton, which for quite a while has been a cinch to move up to Division II, will petition to move up to Division 1. Undoubtedly, it will have some competition there.
The club recently, with the Ross School’s blessing, began clinics for 4-through-9-year-olds on Saturdays from 9:30 to 10:30. “We had 15 kids the first time we did it, and now we’re up to 30,” DeRosa said. “Our next eight-week session will begin June 7. Anyone who wants to register can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 678-3905.”
In other men’s soccer news here, Tortorella Pools, with a 2-0-0 record, was in first place in the Wednesday evening 7-on-7 league, whose games are played at East Hampton’s Herrick Park, as of earlier this week.
Maidstone Market was at 1-0-1, followed by Cuenca F.C. and Bateman Painting, each at 1-1-0; Bill Miller, at 0-1-1, and F.C. Tuxpan, at 0-2-0.