The boys’ soccer team exorcised some demons yesterday by beating Southold 2-1 and this afternoon our girls got their chance. The Bears dropped both matches against the Settlers last year, but left those two defeats in the rear view mirror as they trounced their east end rivals, 3-0. The Blue and White again had to take the pitch without irreplaceable players Kelsey Wentling and Brianna Stiklickas, but found their way, improving their league record to 2-0.
The girls got going early as Donna Liotine scored on a gorgeous header, courtesy of Michelle Hennessy’s impeccable corner kick in the fourth minute. The Brook kept up the pressure as Hennessy had a great individual effort three minutes later, weaving her way through the Settler defense and putting a shot on goal. Then Liotine, battling the pain from knocking knees with another player, had to come out of the game and would not return for the remainder of the contest. With three of our star players sidelined, Southold began to threaten. Pappas was tested on a close shot in the 16th minute but came up with a fingertip save. The play was very even from the 20th minute to the 30th as each team had few scoring chances. Then, before the end of the half, the Bears had several chances to pad their lead but came up empty and frustrated. In the 35th minute Gianna Scavo put a beautiful cross into the box that dropped right in front of the goal and a ball that cried out for Liotine’s cannon ended up in the keeper’s hands. With 45 seconds left Hennessy struck a beautiful direct kick that no one could finish and a third chance was wasted with seconds remaining when the Brook again had the ball right on the doorstep but were stymied. | 1-0
The opening ten minutes were very even as both offenses struggled to possess the ball. Southold threatened around the 60th minute as our defense struggled to keep the ball out of our zone, but Pappas was equal to every challenge. Stony Brook’s continuity on offense improved as the half wore on, a fine chance coming when 7th-grader Julia Shi gave a great pass to 8th-grader Emily Pius who put a good shot on goal. Then, just when it felt like it was going to be a tense battle until the final horn, Hennessy once again stepped up when the team needed her. Madison Rylands threw the ball in deep in Southold territory, which was kicked around in the box before being cleared out by the Settler defense. Christine Brathwaite then made a great play by possessing the ball and firing a flawless pass right to Hennessy who buried the goal and the red shirts with 13:51 remaining. Just over three minutes later, the Brook put an exclamation point on the win when Emily Shultz put a long pass into the box that Mikaela Stiklickas ran onto and scored for her first varsity goal. The offense dominated the final fifteen minutes, similar to how they asserted themselves against Pierson two days ago, and did not stop with a 3-0 advantage, as Scavo put a beauty on net, nailing the crossbar with 5:30 left. | 3-0
Donna Liotine scored off a corner kick by Michelle Hennessy four minutes into the first half and sophomore Mikaela Stiklickas scored her first varsity goal to lead Stony Brook (3-1) in League VIII.
The win felt cathartic. The girls have battled a lot of adversity already this season, so to beat a team they had fallen to twice the year before had to feel good. The defense of Kierran Petersen, Brannon Burke, and Madison Rylands was noteworthy as they tracked down and neutralized the quick Southold forwards. One feels uneasy when looking in the backfield and noticing the absence of Brianna Stiklickas, but the play of those three assuaged our fears. Shi was more than surprising on offense, charging hard for 50-50 balls, hustling all over the field, and adroitly dishing the ball. She and Pius will be a fun tandem to watch as they get older. The offense had more flow today than against Pierson on Monday and more than doubled Southold’s shots on goal. The girls also seemed less burdened than they had been against Pierson and played solid soccer from the beginning. The only glaring deficiency was their inability to finish in the first half, which could have put the game out of reach much earlier, but they registered a complete game today as evidenced by the lopsided score. The girls will face Smithtown in their next test on Saturday at 10am.
Hennessy and Liotine are tied for 1st on Long Island in points with 8 apiece… Hennessy is tied for 2nd on Long Island in goals with 6 while Liotine is still tied for 2nd on Long Island in assists with 5.
|Hennessy||1 goal/1 assist|