This story originally was posted on on Oct. 9, 2013

“Look — up at the soccer pitch.

“It’s a speeding bullet. It’s a runaway locomotive.

“No, it’s Super Mario.

“Yes, it’s Super Mario, who on Wednesday demonstrated abilities well beyond mortal high school soccer players.

“He was able to bend the ball around defenders with his not-so-bare feet, bolting past his marker in several bounds to score a season-high four goals.”

By Michael Lewis Editor

MATTITUCK, N.Y. — Prior to Wednesday, Mario Arreola had never scored four goals in a game, not even in youth soccer.

But there is a first time for everything and the talented junior striker did what he does best — well, striking for four goals in Mattituck High School’s 6-0 victory over Port Jefferson.

He put on a brilliant show, connecting twice in each half to power the Tuckers in the Suffolk County League VII boys soccer game.

“We played really good,” Arreola said. “We played the best soccer we’ve played in a while.

“Coach was talking about that [scoring goals]. We’ve got to finish our chances to win games and that’s what we did today. That’s why we got the win.”

It might have been a one-man show at times, but Arreola could not have done it by himself as fellow junior forward Kaan Ilgin, who finished with three assists, set up three of his goals.

That was pretty magnanimous by Ilgin, who is battling Arreola for the team scoring lead. Arreola has eight goals, Ilgin nine.

“We’re fighting for the goals,” Arreola said.

And if Arreola surpasses Ilgin, so be it.

“I don’t mind,” Ilgin said. “I had four assists today.”

Well, officially it was three. But more importantly, Ilgin has 11 this season, and creating goals can be just as vital as scoring them.

“Today was Mario’s day,” Ilgin said. “When we scored the first goal, I knew he was going to get the hat-trick and he got four goals. I started passing to him.”

Arreola, a native of Guatemala, said he had a premonition that he would finish with a hat-trick, two days after Ilgin converted the first three-goal game of the Tuckers’ season in a 3-1 victory over host Southampton on Monday.

“It really helps me a lot,” Arreola said. “When you have someone that good on your team, it helps you. You can combine with him and score goals with him.”

Midfielder James Hayes set up Arreola’s first goal in the the 12th minute before Oscar Puluc’s fine pass allowed the Guatemalan native to run through two defenders and score on the right side eight minutes later for a 2-0 advantage.

Kaan got into the act by blooping a long free kick from the right side to central defender Paul Hayes, whose diving head at the far post beat goalkeeper Corey DeGroot (10 saves) for a three-goal lead in the 36th minute.

Kaan and Arreola teamed up for the next two scores. The first pass allowed Arreola to fire a shot from the right side into the lower far left corner in the 49th minute before another Kaan feed allowed him to run through several defenders before scoring to grab a 5-0 lead in the 57th minute.

“He’s a good player,” Port Jefferson coach John Poulianos said. “But you know what? Nobody ever stuck a shoulder in his chest. Everybody stuck legs out and when you have good technical players and defenders want to tackle with their feet instead of their body, that’s the result. A player like that who’s very technical, the reality is that you have to physical with him and you have to put your body on him and let him separate and we allowed the separation.”

Entering this season, there were some great expectations of Arreola, a technically gifted player who can dribble in close quarters and who has some speed to burn, especially down the wings. He scored 17 goals for Mattituck in the Town of Brookhaven Summer Soccer League as the Tuckers earned the small schools title, earning the nickname Super Mario.

He entered Wednesday’s encounter with four goals, but doubled that total by the 52nd-minute of the 80-minute match. A few minutes later, Mattituck coach Mat Litchhult took him out. Dan Parks completed the scoring in the 64th minute.

“That was the Mario that we’ve been trying to search for all year,” Litchhult said. “We’ve been a little bit snake-bitten, him and Kaan. They both broke out of it the last two games. Kaan had a hat-trick and Mario had four today. Hopefully that is a good thing of things to come, heading towards the end of the season, heading to the playoffs.”