Last Thursday, the girls’ soccer team traveled to Staten Island Academy in their regular season finale. On the line was the #2 seed in the PSAA tournament and a home semifinal match. In an emotional and hard-fought game, the Bears fell 1-4, knowing that they’d have to return to the same field five days later with their season on the line. Yesterday afternoon, they made the trek back over the Verrazzano Bridge and came away with a thrilling 6-4 victory that gave them their first postseason win since the 2013 Suffolk County Championship and a berth in the PSAA Championship game.
Lara Montalbano opened the scoring for the Bears in the 14th minute off of a pass from Bekah Herts. The Tigers equalized six minutes later, but Sophia DiLavore’s unassisted goal gave the Brook the lead back just one minute later. Five minutes before the half, Staten Island equalized again to knot the match at 2-2 midway through.
Four minutes into the second half, the Tigers took their only lead of the game on a corner kick, but Donna Sanders notched two scores, three minutes apart, to vault the Bears back into a 4-3 lead with 23 minutes remaining. Two minutes later, the Tigers scored, leaving the match tied for the fourth time. The Bears finally went ahead for good with 18 minutes left when DiLavore volleyed home a Beth Felix corner kick. Sanders put the game out of reach with seven minutes left on an unassisted score that gave her a fifth hat trick on the season. Sarah Hull made 11 saves in goal and the Bears benefited from the return of Caroline Maglione who was sidelined the last three weeks with an injury.
With the win the Bears move on to face top-seeded Portledge in the PSAA Championship set for Friday at 3:00pm at Cantiague Park in Hicksville. They will play at the same time and location as the boys’ soccer team who faces off against #2 Long Island Lutheran.