Near perfection. The Huntington High School junior varsity boys’ soccer team came close to a perfect season, compiling a 12-1 record this fall.
Coached by Blue Devil alum Jose Alfaro, the squad had a pair of close calls and dropped a 1-0 decision to Smithtown West in the final game of the season, but other than that, cruised through the 13 game schedule.
Huntington was talented throughout its roster, with experienced and skilled players at every position. The team claimed wins over Connetquot (5-0), Central Islip (3-2), Lindenhurst (6-1), Newfield (7-0 and 8-0), Half Hollow Hills East (4-0 and 6-0), Copiague (6-1 and 4-3), Centereach (5-0), Smithtown West (6-1) and Northport (3-1)
The Blue Devils were led by forwards Jeison Portillo (25 goals, 10 assists) and Julio Martinez (15 goals, 5 assists), midfielders Matt Lange, Ian Husselback and Kieran Husselback and defenders Liam Lennon and Dylan Schnitzer.
Portillo was an offensive powerhouse. “Jeison had one goal this season and it was to break the JV scoring record held by Carlos Rivera,” Alfaro said. “He came very close, but missed by four.” (Portillo had 25 goals in 13 games while Rivera scored 29 times in 16 games.)
Martinez also shined as a scorer. “Julio is a bigtime player, smooth and natural with the ball,” Alfaro said. “Big things are ahead for him and Jeison.)
The highlight of the season came at Copiague. Huntington trailed the Eagles 3-0 before scoring four consecutive goals to win the game. The final and game-winning goal came with just 20 seconds remaining on the clock.
The Blue Devils were captained by Liam Lennon, Matt Lange and Joe Rodriquez. “The team had a high soccer IQ,” Alfaro said. “They weren’t satisfied with just winning. They wanted to win by playing beautifully.”
The team’s roster included freshmen Jeison Blanco Portillo, Roman Borovica, Vincent Grassi, Ian Husselbeck, Kieran Husselbeck, Christian Panameno-Delcid, Justin Perez Castillo, Enzo Pupillo, Nikolai Seferian and Christopher Sorto-Garcia; sophomores Elmer Aguilera Avila, Cecilio Alvarez, Ronaldo Arias-Alfaro, Cristian Avelar-Romero, Denilson Diaz Mejia, Matthew Lange, Liam Lennon, Julio Martinez, Enri Reyes-Flores, Joseph Rodriquez-Valdez, Dylan Schnitzer and Henry Vohs; and juniors Brenden Abedin, Deyby Diaz, Ethan Franciscovich, Joseph O’Connell, Mike-el Ollivierre and Andreas Seferian.
Alfaro expects to have another fine team next fall. “We will work to be the best and strive for another amazing season,” he said.