Girls’ Soccer Captures First Conference Title in 14 Years

Brittany Rowles, Entertainment Editor

For the first time since 1998 the girls’ soccer team won a conference title leaving New Hyde Park and Jericho to battle for second place in Conference A2. The team went 12-2-1 overall and 11-1 in the conference. .
Coach Polo achieved this in only his second year as head coach of the team. “I think it was a highly successful soccer season,” said Polo who also coaches the boys’ bowling team and is the assistant coach on the boys’ varsity lacrosse team. “For the seniors I want them to continue their great work ethic on the field off the field.”
Nikki Sliwak, a freshman forward, new to the halls of Wantagh High School but not to the soccer field, led the team with 8 goals and 7 assists this season for 15 points. A trio of sophomores also did a lot of scoring. Jordan Klapper, Amanda Profera and Shannon Kingston tallied 15 goals.
First time goalie Ryley Weber made 71 saves this season. Weber had never played goalie before. She is better known as a top lacrosse defender but excelled in the net. Protecting her was a defense that Polo said was fantastic, with each of the four starting defenders receiving post-season honors.
First there was sweeper Catie Ingrilli, who had never played sweeper before this season. Ingrilli, who will play lacrosse at powerhouse Northwestern University next year, had played travel soccer before she committed more of her time to lacrosse. The two outside defenders were Tori Flaherty and Alexandra Diaks. Both play on quality travel teams and both girls covered a lot of ground and helped shut down quality forwards. Then there was stopper Stefanie Wenz, who added an important physical presence in the middle of the field.
In the first game of the season, Shannon Kingston made her varsity debut and scored her first goal of her career for Wantagh High School. She got to team up with her sister, senior Kaitlin Kingston, who had four assists on the season. The team played a series of intense matches coming down to last minute scoring.
In a thrilling playoff win over Jericho, the game was tied 0-0 until Klapper drilled in a goal in the first overtime. She followed that with a pass to Profera who ripped it in for another goal and a 2-0 win.
In their first face off with Seaford, Wantagh lead 2-0 and resulted in a shutout by Ryley Weber and an ending score of 4-0.
Senior Jennifer Graham was a leader on the field. Another senior who helped lead the team was Brenna Connely, who had four goals.
Another sophomores who contributed to the offense was Melissa Horn, whose speed and physical play created much-needed space.
Wantagh’s season ended in the playoff quarterfinals when it faced the No. 1 seed, South Side. The Warriors fell behind 3-0 and subbed out their starters, though South Side kept in its best players and scored two more goals for a 5-0 win. It continued winning and captured the Nassau County and Long Island titles and went to States.