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On This Day In History | 2009

December 4, 2017
G Soccer 2009 State Championship

The team celebrates in the moments after beating Sauquoit Valley

On this day 8 years ago, the girls’ soccer team’s State Championship victory was profiled in Newsday. Here is the article from Kevin Colton.


It’s a Banner Year for Stony Brook

Behind every banner there’s a story.

Fifty-four banners, all blue with white trim and lettering, align the walls of the gymnasium at the Stony Brook School recognizing the county and regional champions of seasons past. A new banner, gray with blue lettering and double the size of the others, will soon hang on the main wall over the scorer’s table, strategically placed to first meet the eyes upon entering the gym. It will honor the school’s first ever Class C state championship, and the girl’s soccer team that brought it home.

“Whenever we come back for alumni weekend,” defender Kierran Petersen said, “we will all just gather around the banner.”

Perhaps to reminisce about the stories that unfolded during their storybook season.

A story that starts with Donna Liotine transferring from Patchogue-Medford, being named co-captain after standing out during the first week of practice, and leading the team with 21 goals. And with Brianna Stiklickas somewhat begrudgingly moving from the glamour of midfield to the trenches of defense only to embrace the role and round out the strength up the middle by peeking defensively during the state tournament.

They can recollect about how shortly after goalkeeper Danielle Pappas made 14 saves in a 3-0 shutout against Friends Academy to win the Long Island Championship, she speculated about the history that would be made if her team were to bring the Bears (13-5-2) their first state title.

They can relive the tale of Kelsey Wentling scoring in overtime of the state semifinals to propel Stony Brook to a 1-0 win against Seton Catholic and send them to the state final, a game Wentling would miss in order to be the maid of honor at her sister’s wedding. Shortly before walking down the aisle, Wentling hid her phone behind her bouquet to take a call from her teammates informing her they were state champs.

“My smile got a lot bigger,” she said. When asked what made her happier, learning she was a state champion or seeing her sister get married, she wisely responded, “I’m not going to answer that.”

Finally, there was Michelle Hennessy scoring the go-ahead goal 6:35 into the second half of the state final against unbeaten Sauquoit Valley for the biggest goal to date in Stony Brook history. It gave them a 2-1 lead they would not relinquish as they captured that elusive state championship.

“This is a big deal for the Stony Brook School,” coach Mark Maningo said. “That banner is going to bring back sweet memories. It’s always going to be nice to know that you were part of that.”

A trophy case outside the gym will encase the championship plaques, a game ball signed by the team, newspaper clippings, and a team photo. Mementos that will tell the story of the 2009 Stony Brook girl’s soccer team.

It’s a story that Maningo doesn’t want to end. “I like that storybook season saying,” Maningo said. “But I only hope that it turns into a novel, or there’s at least another chapter being printed.”



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