Girls’ Soccer Wins in O.T. in Playoff Quarterfinal


Nicole Hooker, Viewpoints Editor

The Wantagh girls’ varsity soccer season has been a bumpy road. After a slow start, dropping a 5-1 opening game to Manhasset, the Warriors have had a number of good ties and great wins.

One of the biggest was over previously undefeated Calhoun. Calhoun was 6-0-2 going into that game and had moved down from a larger-school division. The Warriors won 2-0. The first goal was scored by Caitlin Albanese off a great throw in from Bella DelaCruz, which was described in a Newsday article about the game.

The Warriors earned the No. 3 seed in playoffs. A first-round 2-0 playoff win over Locust Valley kept Coach Polo’s streak of a playoff win in each of his eight years of coaching the team. For the first time the varsity had an assistant coach, Ms. Buczkowski.

In the quarterfinal playoff game, DelaCruz made a big difference. Two big throw ins led to goals by Albanese and Morgan Flaherty for a 2-0 lead over North Shore.“I follow through in my throw-ins and use my strong muscles to make it go far,” said DelaCruz.

However, North Shore came back and sent the game to overtime where Albanese scored yet again off a cross from Flaherty for a 3-2 O.T. win. Erin Murphy had 12 saves and Wantagh was in the semifinals.
In the semis the Warriors ran into the powerhouse Valley Stream South team, which was 17-0, and they lost 3-0. VSS went on to win the Nassau County Class A title.

The senior captains Maggie L’Eplattenier, Casey O’Connor, Murphy, Ashley Gendels, and Albanese are sad to say it was their last game. Murphy and Gendels received all county honors.
“We had a bumpy start,” said Murphy. “Our mentality changed and our confidence grew once we realized we could play with any team.”

The team had five shutouts on the season. The backline was L’Eplattenier, Katelyn Tucker, Olivia Vinson and Emma Benedetto. The team’s starting midfield was Flaherty, DelaCruz, Noel Polack and Matiana Valdez.