The way both teams were moving from one end of the field to the other, it was more reminiscent of a basketball game than soccer.
In a very high intensity ridden game Tuesday night at Sachem High School East, the Flaming Arrows defeated Northport 2-1 in non-league boys soccer action. Jason Santos and Andrew Tinari both came through with goals for East.
It was back and forth all throughout the first half as both teams wrestled possession away from each other. Just as it seemed one team was asserting itself, the other would suddenly be on the attack.
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With time winding down in the first half, Northport's Dillon Johnson found himself in a one-on-one situation and forced East goalkeeper Matthew Bonomini to come further out of the net. Johnson came through with a 25-yard strike into the back of the net to put Northport up 1-0 with just 11 seconds left on the first half clock.
In the second half, the Arrows began to assert themselves both offensively and defensively as they made strong attacks while maintaining control of the ball. On the other side, Northport took a more defensive approach with a one-goal lead, loading up players in the defensive zone.
This culminated with 21 minutes left on the game clock as Santos made a successful cross to Andrew Tinari on the edge of the penalty box. Tinari's shot ricocheted off the crossbar and down into the net to tie the game, 1-1.
"Jason chipped it over the kid's leg and I chipped it in to score," said Tinari of his goal "Nothing was going through my head. I was just trying to shoot."
Santos quickly came through again with a goal of his own a minute later. He played a cross from the corner of the field and tapped it in for the score from inside the goal box.
"The second half was nice. It showed the character of the team; that we can fight and not quit," said East head coach Matt Stallone.
East defender John Potter had a bounce back performance after an early goal as he made some adjustments marking up on Johnson, neutralizing his playmaking ability in the second half.
East was out shot 13-10 and despite the victory, still has work to do going forward.
"Defensively, sometimes we attacked too much and need to be a little more disciplined instead of moving up every time," said Stallone. "But to have a comeback win is a nice way to start the season."
Goalkeeper Matthew Bonomini made five saves for East.
East goes on the road to play Newfield, next Thursday at 4 p.m.