Colts Stay On Top Of Their League
Carrying through-the-roof confidence and the skills to back it up, the Half Hollow Hills West boys soccer team has an undefeated record in League VI this year.
Having won eight games and tying two, the Colts continue to be a powerhouse in the Suffolk soccer division at the midpoint of the season.
With the exception of last year, Head Coach Doug Gannon said, the team has placed as champions of their league the past six years. The Colts fell to their district counterpart, the Thunderbirds of Hills East, in the semifinals last year and are more determined than ever this year to regain the top spot in soccer.
Under the leadership of four senior captains, including center midfielder Cody Tao, forward Moosah Khanat, center back Cole Tobias and defenseman Jaylan White, Gannon’s team has trampled the competition.
“It’s a mix between the experience they brought to the table this year as well as their soccer abilities and leadership qualities,” Gannon said of his captains. “We’ve kind of grown accustomed to winning – that’s all they really know – so I think that’s a big advantage mentally against other teams.”
The Hills West team walked away from last Friday’s game against Kings Park with a 1-1 tie, after a shutout in both overtime and double overtime. Khanat scored a goal in the second period, and West goalie Ethan Muller had 3 saves.
On Oct. 2, Hills West dominated play against East Islip, winning 6-2. Khanat scored his second goal at the end of the game in the 54th minute while junior forward Richy Mastrangelo, Kory Fitzgerald, Cao and Tobias also scored to lead Hills last Wednesday.
The Colts left the West Babylon field on Sept. 30 with a sizeable 5-2 win. The defense worked to keep the Eagles caged, and Colts goalies Muller and Marc Bassuk saved a combined 3 goals.
At West Babylon, Fitzgerald, Mastrangelo, Tobias, Khanat and Nick Elkins all scored.
The first tie of the season was at the Colts’ Sept. 26 game against Hauppauge, the second place team in League IV. Colt Stephen Lauria scored the only goal for Hills West in the first half of play, while Hauppauge responded with a goal in the second half.
The two teams tried to settle the score, delving into double overtime, but neither team could find the back of the net to tilt the scale in either direction.
Hills West defeated Deer Park, 2-0, on Sept. 24, when Mastrangelo scored one goal and Gabe Agbin scored another.
Sweeping the game 3-0 at Bellport on Sept. 20, Mastrangelo added 2 goals for Hills West and Fitzgerald scored the third to lead to yet another Colts win.
Interestingly, despite the 1-1 tie against Kings Park last week, Hills beat the Kingsmen 7-0 during their first game of the season on Sept. 17. Against Kings Park, Mastrangelo scored 2 goals while Reggie Damour, Agbin, Khanat, John Behr and Austin Prucha each scored a goal for the Colts.
At the midpoint of the fall season, Gannon said Mastrangelo and Muller have both stepped up on the field and distinguished themselves as disciplined, dedicated players.
“Our goal is to honestly always win your league and put yourself in the best opportunity you can for a playoff run. It’s more of a ‘refuse to lose’ attitude,” Gannon said.
The Colts were to host Huntington for a game on Tuesday, but scores were not available by press time. Hills West plays at Bellport on Thursday at 4 p.m.