Pardon Jose Ulloa if he did not understand the magnitude of what he did on Saturday.
The Pierson junior only came to America from Chile this summer.
While he might not be knowledgeable about the intricacies of the Long Island playoffs, Ulloa definitely understands the beautiful game.
He converted a cross from teammate Helio Paucer of Bridgehampton in the seventh minute for the game’s first goal.
Top-seeded Pierson/Bridgehampton added a goal in the 38th minute and beat No. 2 Southold, 2-0, in the Suffolk Class C boys soccer final at Diamond in the Pines on Saturday.
The Whalers (9-7-1) face Carle Place in the Long Island Class C final at noon Tuesday at Mitchel Athletic Complex.
“I didn’t know how big of a deal this was,” said Ulloa, with an innocent smile.
Southold (6-10-1) held a high line defensively — trying to force the Whalers into offside situations.
It worked early. However, the Whalers struck on Ulloa’s goal that came 6:29 into the game.
“That goal was big because it gave us a little breathing room,” Whalers coach Peter Solow said. “We knew they were going to try to force us into being offside.”
The Whalers were flagged with more than a half-dozen offside calls in the first half.
It seemed like Southold, which won the Suffolk C crown in the spring, was going to reach halftime down by just a goal.
But a great through ball from Pierson’s Halsey Burton reached Pierson’s Brandon Winenga, who scored with 2:28 left before halftime and the score was 2-0.
Southold, which was held without a shot in the first half, became more aggressive in the final 40 minutes.
However, the Settlers couldn’t break through against a tough Whalers backline and goalkeeper Gavin Gilbride (three saves).
The junior did not play high school soccer until this season.
“I was a golfer,” said Gilbride, who goes to Pierson. “Coach told me he needed a goalie, and asked me if I wanted to play.”
Now, he and Whalers are on the brink of a Long Island championship, something Ulloa really didn’t understand until after Saturday’s win.
“I’m just playing soccer,” he said, “and trying to help the team win some games.”
If the Chilean youngster continues his scoring prowess, the Whalers could have a magical postseason run.