LAKE HUNTINGTON, NY — “The girls’ varsity soccer program had a very successful season,” said Megan Brockner, coach of Sullivan West’s girls’ booters, when asked how the 2022 season went.
LAKE HUNTINGTON, NY — “The girls’ varsity soccer program had a very successful season,” said Megan Brockner, coach of Sullivan West’s girls’ booters, when asked how the 2022 season went. “We began our preseason in August, and from the first practice, I could tell the group of girls were very determined and going to put in the necessary work to be successful.”
Coach Brockner explained that the Lady Bulldogs focused on “working as a unit, communication and small quick passes,” and while playing several challenging matches, never gave up.
In the wake of losing to O’Neill early in the season, she said that the team learned from that experience to “set goals and push each other in every practice to constantly improve… Our seniors were exceptional players, and will be missed greatly next year.”
The Lady Bulldogs varsity soccer squad of Section IX Division IV posted an overall record of 7-5-2, averaging 28 shots per game, 18 of them as shots on goal.
A quick look at the season, with scores: Downsville 3-5, Livingston Manor 4-1, O’Neill 0-6, Eldred 8-0, Livingston Manor 6-0, Seward 5-1, Burke 1-2, Tri-Valley 2-2, Eldred 6-0, Seward 3-1, Liberty 2-0, Burke 2-3, Tri-Valley 0-0 and a 3-5 loss to Burke to close out the year at the sectionals.
Coach Brockner said that Violla Shami scored 17 goals this season, while keeper Elaine Herbert recorded 104 saves, earned her team 5 shut-outs, and on offense posted 2 goals.
Of her goalie, the coach said, “I would like to thank Elaine for her willingness to spend her season in goal, a new position to her, one that she excelled in greatly.”
Coach Brockner noted the performance of several key players. Seniors Anna Bernas, who scored 1 goal as a defensive midfielder, and Felicity Baurenfiend, who both played in the Section IX All-Star game at the end of the season. “Their exceptional skill, leadership and passion made them great players who I will miss greatly.”
She also praised defensive players Rahmat Gambari and Karlee Diehl. “These two juniors were incredible in the back, and used their skill to not only slow the opponents’ forward movement and shots on goal, but also stayed connected to their midfield, to move the ball out and up the field.”
Asked what she recalls as the most memorable game of the season, Coach Brockner replied that it was their first match against the Lady Eagles of John S. Burke Catholic High School. “Starting the season, I knew the girls had an abundance of raw talent… but on (September 28) this game was played at an intensity that reminded me of college-level soccer… both teams were aggressive, tough and strategic with their passes and movement. I remember catching myself holding my breath, and tensing up with excitement throughout the game… I was so impressed with the girls and the efforts they put in, despite the outcome of the game.”
The 8-0 win over Eldred on September 20 took some of the sting out of Sullivan West’s 0-6 loss against O’Neill the day before.
“This game allowed the girls to try new positions, score goals, and experiment with foot skills,” said Coach Brockner. “In this game, the girls got to play with their hearts. To see them play with such passion is what every coach should hope to see.”
Looking ahead to the soccer season of 2023, with a nod to the recent past, she said, “Our seniors were exceptional players, and will be missed greatly next year, and we are looking forward to next season with our returning players and upcoming underclassmen. I am really looking forward to next year and continuing to build this soccer program.”
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here