Northport Tigers Blank Thunderbirds, Clinch Playoffs

  Northport’s Garrett Rospars readies to serve the ball into the 18-yard box at Tuesday’s game against Connetquot.   Long Islander News Photo/Janee Law

Northport’s Garrett Rospars readies to serve the ball into the 18-yard box at Tuesday’s game against Connetquot. Long Islander News Photo/Janee Law

By Janee Law

The Northport boys soccer team continued its push through the Suffolk League II standings Tuesday with a 4-0 shutout over Connetquot.

The Tigers took a 3-0 lead into halftime and its defensive line remained stout through the rest of the contest at Northport High School.

Connetquot only managed two shots on net. Northport’s sophomore goalkeeper Joe Kearns and junior goalkeeper Nick Ree each made one save to preserve the shutout, the Tigers’ eighth of the season.

Coach Don Strasser praised his team after the game. “The team played really well, they possessed through a large portion of the game and capitalized on opportunities.”

He called out strong performances by junior defender Michael Kucza, senior midfielder Konstantine Mendrinos, junior midfielder Steven Siso and senior forward Jack Wetzel.

Strasser added that he was particularly proud of the Tigers’ patience and ball movement. “The boys really played a solid team effort today.”

Wetzel led the Tigers on offense with two goals and one assist. Junior defender James Diaz and Mendrinos scored one goal each. Meanwhile, senior midfielder Chris Fertig cashed in two assists and Siso tacked on one of his own.

The Tigers improved to 8-0 in league play, clinching a spot in this year’s playoffs. Last season, Northport reached the Suffolk AA quarterfinals, but fell to Hauppauge.

This year, with four games remaining in league play, the Tigers have their sights set on a title, Strasser said.

“We’re nearing the end, so every game is a little harder the second time around,” Strasser said. “We’ll continue to prepare and take one game at a time.”

Next up for Northport is a scheduled trip to Lindenhurst today to face the Bulldogs. Kickoff is slated for 4:30 p.m.