On this day eight years ago, the girls’ soccer team won our school’s first New York State Championship in a 2-1 victory over #1-ranked, undefeated Sauquoit Valley. Here is the recap of the match from Mike Gavin of Newsday.
Liotine, Hennessy Help Stony Brook Win Class C Crown
CORTLAND, N.Y. – Donna Liotine boarded the team bus with the championship plaque cradled in her arms, set to embark on a five-hour trip bringing the school’s first ever State Championship back to Stony Brook. The sounds of celebration slowly faded as the bus pulled away with the scrolling message on its marquee reading “Stony Brook Girls Soccer/NY State Champs.”
“I don’t want to let go of it,” Liotine said of the plaque. “I’ll probably go to sleep with it.”
The Bears’ 2-1 win against top-ranked, unbeaten Sauquoit Valley (Section III) in the state final at Cortland Saturday, gave Stony Brook the Class C State Championship, its first in any sport in the school’s history.
“It’s history,” coach Mark Maningo said. “These State Championships don’t come around very often. These girls got that plaque, they got that banner, they got that State Championship. They will have real fond memories of it.”
Liotine sent a pass to the middle of the box for Michelle Hennessy, who angled a shot to the far post and into the back of the net to give Stony Brook a 2-1 lead with 33:25 remaining in the game.
“I can’t wait to hang it up,” Hennessy said of the plaque. “Our school is going to go crazy. We are such a small school so everyone is going to get in on it. It’s going to be great.”
Sauquoit Valley had two opportunities to tie the game but goalkeeper Danielle Pappas, who had 14 saves, made a diving stop on a shot by Amanda Orsino with just under 18 minutes left and Meghan Gaffney shot wide of an open net with ten minutes to go after Pappas had come out to challenge the shot.
“We knew we were going to come out here and play good defense,” Maningo said. “We didn’t think we were going to be overwhelmed with some kind of offensive power coming in here. The big question was if we were going to be able to score two or three goals.”
Two goals were all they would need. Liotine gave them their first just three minutes after Sauquoit Valley took a 1-0 lead. After a hand ball, Liotine placed a 30-yard direct kick into the upper corner of the net to tie the game.
Stony Brook allowed its first goal in 271 minutes of playoff soccer when Orsino scored on a header 11:22 into the first half. Orsino’s initial header caromed off the crossbar but she headed the rebound over Pappas.
After slapping hands with the Stony Brook faithful that made the trip, Maningo was already thinking next season. With all but one player returning next year, he says they will be a marked team that is expected to be twice as good. Those lofty expectations did little to humble a jovial Hennessy, who had four goals and three assists in four playoff games and was named the outstanding player of yesterday’s game.
“Next year,” Hennessy said, “we plan on coming back and winning it again.”