SLEEPY HOLLOW – Along with the normal feeling of excitement that comes with a regional final, there was also a sense of finality in the air for Haldane.
“We’re excited for today, we know there’s not too many games left,” Haldane Coach Gary Van Asselt said. “Some of our girls know this could be their last game.”
In 2015, Haldane’s season ended against Port Jefferson in the regional finals, and history repeated itself on Saturday afternoon, as Port Jefferson won 3-0 in the Class C regional final at Sleepy Hollow High School.
Right out of the gate, Port Jefferson was able to assert themselves as the more physical team. Haldane’s defense was able to keep Port Jefferson at bay for the first 14 minutes of the game.
In the 15th minute, Port Jefferson’s Brittany Fazen dribbled past three Haldane players and from the center of the box fired the ball past a sliding Amelia Hall for the game’s first goal.
Port Jefferson would score two more times and control the ball for most of the game.
“We were able to reset the balls to our defenders really well. We also did a great job of getting the ball out wide,” Port Jefferson Coach Michele Aponte said. “We have a lot of seniors on our team and I’m excited that they get to go back to States.”
For seven Haldane seniors, today was their last game, and Asselt couldn’t hide his pride.
“We were not outclassed today, they were just able to do too many things that they wanted,” Asselt said. “I couldn’t ask for more from our seniors. Missy (Lisikatos) is going to have a great college career at Malone. Hannah (Monteleone) is going to play in college, she just hasn’t decided where yet. I’m proud of our girls. We played a really good team, we have nothing to be ashamed of. “
Player of the game: Forward Jillian Colucci scored one goal today, and was a vital part of Port Jefferson’s attack. She dribbled past defenders seemingly at will.
Turning point: Port Jefferson’s Grace Swords dribbled past the Haldane defense and scored 20 seconds into the second half. This made the score 3-0 and squashed any thoughts of a Haldane comeback.
Stats: One goal apiece for Port Jefferson’s Brittany Fazen, Jillian Colucci, and Grace Swords. Five saves for Port Jefferson’s Brianna Scarda. Ten saves for Haldane’s Amelia Hall.
Quotable: “Haldane played really great today,” Aponte said. “They were all over us from the start of the game. We had to work hard to beat them.”