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Oct 29, 2019 10:23 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Bonac Soccer Season Ends In Heartbreak

The Bonackers are in disbelief after suffering a 1-0 double overtime loss at Elwood/John Glenn on Monday afternoon. MICHAEL HELLER
Oct 29, 2019 10:23 AM

For the second straight year, the season ended for the East Hampton boys soccer team with a 1-0 loss on the road against Elwood/John Glenn.

This year’s playoff loss was particularly painful, as it ended Monday afternoon on a goal by Glenn’s Jimmy Rourke with just three minutes remaining in sudden-death double overtime.

The Bonackers, who will graduate six seniors, ended the season with an overall record of 7-7-3.

“Our approach was to be ready for whatever they threw at us,” East Hampton head coach Don McGovern said after the game. “We handled their pressure well. They played direct. Everything was in the air. When a team plays for corners and free kicks, we held up to most of it, and one time they broke through. It’s playoffs. It’s high school soccer. Anything can happen. You get the right bounce and that could be it.”

East Hampton lost to Glenn at the end of last season in the Suffolk County Class A quarterfinals. Monday’s game was an outbracket competition, with the winner advancing to face second-ranked Harborfields in the quarterfinals on Thursday, October 31. Glenn went into the playoffs as the seven-seed, while East Hampton was ranked 10th out of 11 teams in the playoffs.

The Bonackers struggled at times through their League V season, but closed with a 4-1-1 record in the final six games to secure a spot in the Class A playoffs, which every year seems to be stacked with talent. The top team this season is Amityville, the defending state champion, which entered the playoffs with a perfect 16-0 record out of League VI.

Glenn (12-5) also competed in League VI, and so Monday’s playoff game was the first meeting between the two teams this season. Both had their chances on a wet and muddy field, but the conditions made scoring difficult. The home field advantage, McGovern said, was a factor.

“We had opportunities. We had corners, we had free kicks, we just weren’t able to finish the one we needed,” said McGovern, who will return a talented lineup next season. “It was a good game, and both teams played well. But it was a waterlogged, slippery, muddy field, and that’s their home field. We play on turf. We practiced on grass, of course, but I told the kids that’s why you take care of things during the regular season so you can play on your home field in the playoffs.”

The Bonackers will graduate six seniors, including Jhorjan Tacuri, Anthony Quito, Thomas Desmond, Jonathon Bautista, Nicolas Esquivel and Mateo Munera.

The team’s strength this season, however, was with its junior class, which included players like Christian Gomez, Christopher Pintado, Aaron Sarmiento and Matthew McGovern. Chris Barahona, the team’s junior goalie, who made nine saves on Monday, will also return for next season.

“Our boys did a tremendous job this season. They worked hard through the course of the year and they were playing well going into the playoffs,” said McGovern, whose offseason training program begins right away with indoor soccer and a number of tournaments during the winter and spring.

“There’s always lessons to take from this situation,” the longtime coach added. “When we got home and met in the locker room, they said they’re ready to work to get back and put themselves in good position to advance next year.

“Our goals will always be the same,” he added. “We’re going to compete for a league championship, we’re going to compete for a county title. Those goals are adjusted as you go, but we will always be establishing and setting that as our goals.”

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