Port Boys Soccer Looks To Bring Strong Momentum Postseason

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Schreiber Boys Soccer Team.

Just three seasons removed from their 2019 Long Island Championship, Schreiber’s Boys Soccer team entered the fall with high expectations. With a strong core of returning players, they hoped to get out to a fast start and ride a hot hand into the playoffs.

They were unable to do so, falling in their season opener against East Meadow 2-1, a conference opponent that would fail to reach the postseason. The Vikings bounced back in game two, taking down Valley Stream Central 2-0. Senior and captain Sean Ernst scored his first of many goals of the year, and senior goalkeeper Ben Stein netted his first clean sheet. Port finished what would be the roughest stretch of their season with another loss against Syosset in a 1-0 defensive showdown.

“We knew we were better than what our record showed, so we put those games behind us. Working harder and pushing each other every day in practice we were able to get our season back on track. We took each game one at a time and started to play how we expected ourselves to play. Now we are focused on bringing back a county championship,” said senior Jacob Schiff.

The next three-game stretch for the boys began with a game in Hempstead, and a new sense of urgency kicked in. Port took home a 2-1 victory, thanks to Ernst’s assist and game-winning goal. Next, they faced Hicksville at home, and scored twice again in a 2-0 win, Stein’s second shutout of the year. Perhaps the toughest opponent of the season so far was Baldwin, ranked 11th in New York at the time. Ernst scored his third goal of the year, Stein racked up another clean sheet, and Port improved to 4-2 with a 2-0 win.

Team huddle.

“We started to see that if we played our game we could be successful in the league. I also think it set the tone for the rest of the season,” said center back Jesse Schiff.

Port’s tough schedule to begin the year continued with a faceoff against Oceanside, the eventual one-seed in the conference. The Vikings would record their first draw of the year by a score of 1-1, before traveling to Farmingdale looking to return to their winning ways. The offense was stymied, the defense wasn’t strong, and the boys would fall to 4-3-1 after the 2-0 loss.

While just barely over .500, a turnaround would be necessary to achieve a high playoff seed. Spirits and optimism were both high after defeating Westbury 3-1, avenging their elimination from last year’s postseason. Their second-half push continued against Freeport, in a signature defensive performance—a 1-0 win on the back of a goal from senior Sean McClellan and yet another Stein shutout.

In a battle that seemed to be both teams against nature, Port faced Massapequa in what was scheduled to be the senior game. Drenched by monsoon-like conditions, neither team would threaten offensively, in a 0-0 draw, highlighted by Stein’s best save of the season. This would be their final draw of the year, prior to traveling to Herricks. Ernst would pad his team lead in goals, scoring twice in the 2-0 win. He netted yet another in Plainview, again the team’s only offense in a 1-0 win. Closing out the regular season, the Vikings wore an alternate set of pink kits at home, and cruised to a 3-0 victory.

Head butting the soccer ball. (Photos from the Port Washington Boys Viking Soccer instagram)

Port finished the season with a 9-3-2 record, leading them to the third seed in the conference and drawing a first-round matchup against. Ernst finished the year with eight goals, ranking eighth in the conference. Stein closed the season with five consecutive clean sheets, and had 66 saves on the year.

“We’re feeling confident in ourselves after the way the regular season ended and look forward to the opportunity to compete for a championship,” said Stein.

The strong momentum built towards the end of the year will be key to making a deep playoff run. The Vikings’ defensive unit, with Stein in net and Senior captain Jesse Schiff at center back, needs to continue to be the motor for these victories. Port allowed more than two goals twice this year, and lost both of those games. The offense, led by Ernst, must complement the defensive strength, and may have to be pushed further than it has been so far this year—they were not able to top three goals in any game. If Port can continue to ride their recent hot streak, a deep postseason run is in sight.

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