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Eastport-SM wins emotional game with Sayville

Posted Saturday, October 13, 2007 by Webmaster _

Newsday.com

Eastport-SM wins emotional game with Sayville

BY GREGG SARRA

gregg.sarra@newsday.com

October 13, 2007


"Milk, no sugar." It was a simple request from a beloved coach. Sayville girls soccer coach John Schroeder had requested a small cup of coffee, with milk, no sugar when his Golden Flashes were to meet Eastport-South Manor in the schools' second meeting of the season in Suffolk League V.

Schroeder had teased ESM coach Jack Bayer, a good friend, that every time he gave the girls cookies and doughnuts at the end of games, that there was nothing for him. So assistant Michelle Bunai asked Schroeder how he liked his coffee and had him write his order at the top of the scorebook. Bunai planned to have a coffee waiting for Schroeder at the next game.

Schroeder died suddenly last Saturday at his Sayville home at the age of 64. The shock is still felt throughout the soccer community, where in a show of strength, many have reached out all week in support of the Sayville girls.

Sayville played at ESM on Friday. Jasmine DePompeo scored the first and last goals of the game for Sayville, but the Golden Flashes fell, 3-2.

Colleen McKenna scored twice for a 2-1 lead at the half. ESM's Morgan Baust scored midway through the second half on a penalty kick to make it 3-1 but Sayville couldn't complete the comeback and dropped to 5-2-1. ESM improved to 4-3-1.

"It's truly amazing how everyone has pulled together," Sayville athletic director Charlie Delargy said. "I can't say enough about the class of Harborfields. Our girls voted to play Wednesday [the first game since Schroeder died] and not postpone because they wanted to be together. Harborfields came off the bus in two lines and went over to our bench with a card and flowers before the game. It was beautiful."

The heartfelt gesture was not lost on the Sayville girls. And it was one of the things that have helped in the healing process.

"The girls all want to win for Schro," said coach Beth Bolger, Schroeder's assistant the past two years. "They're putting a tremendous amount of pressure on themselves. I know they're emotionally drained. It's been very difficult but the support has been incredible."

Senior sweeper Hanah Lee, who lived on the same block as Schroeder and considered him a friend, said: "It's been a very tough week but we've held it together. I think about him all the time. There's no one like him. He was the best."

Teammate Brittany Llobell said Schroeder lived for soccer and put everything into the program. She agreed he would be sorely missed. ESM placed a banner on the bench before the game wishing Sayville good luck. And during a heart-tugging postgame handshake, the girls gave each Sayville player a rose.

"We had the cookies and doughnuts for the girls, it's what we do," Bayer said. "And we planned to have a cup of coffee for John."

Bayer opened the scorebook and pointed to Schroeder's order. He reflected for a moment and decided the win was secondary to the experience. "It's a very difficult day for everyone," Bayer said.

It was only two weeks ago that Schroeder had penciled in the very short order. It read simply, "milk, no sugar."

The Sayville Athletic Foundation has set up the John Schroeder Scholarship Fund and checks can be mailed to athletic director Charles Delargy, 20 Brook St., Sayville, N.Y. 11796.

Copyright 2007, Newsday Inc.

 

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