Newsday.com covers the beautiful game on Long Island with our high school girls soccer blog.
Diver the Divider as Connetquot clinches
Raychel Diver proved to be the divider.
It wasn't until 10:34 remained in the 15th and final game on the 45th and final day of the regular season that there was finally some separation between the Connetquot and Northport girls soccer teams.
Just as a thick fog gave way to steady rain at Connetquot High School, Northport gave way to Connetquot in the League II standings yesterday as Diver's go-ahead goal propelled the Thunderbirds to a 3-1 win, clinching the league championship.
"It's the best feeling," Diver said. "But now we have the playoffs and that's what we are looking to."
Thanks to Diver's goal, Connetquot will head to the playoffs with a higher seed after ensuring that the League II title remained in town. With the two teams tied 1-1 in the game and 10-1 in the standings, Dawn Hickey took a short pass from Deanna Murino and sent a cross to the front of the net for Diver, who angled a shot to the far post for a 2-1 lead they would not relinquish.
"They showed great heart and dedication to play in this weather and not make any mistakes," Connetquot coach Jen Shanks said. "They did a great job of really overcoming everything and getting the ball in the net."
On Senior Day, Diver's fellow senior, Kelly Geheran, broke a scoreless tie 10:14 into the game. Geheran took a centering pass from Murino, eluded keeper Jamie Whitlow, who came out to challenge, and fired into the back right corner of the empty net.
"It meant so much," Geheran said of the win, "because this is my last year and I want to just go all the way."
Northport (10-2), playing without Suffolk County player of the year Kristi Abbate, tied the game with 7:18 left in the half after Ashley Marchese scored off a cross from Rosy Hayes, who was set up beautifully in the corner by Kelsey Kearns.
Less than three minutes after Diver had put Connetquot (11-1) back on top, Hickey knocked in a rebound off Murino's direct kick to seal the victory on a day when Connetquot’s seniors were honored and rewarded with yet another league title.
"All the seniors played a major part in the game and we all contributed to the win and the league title," said senior co-captain Murino, who had two assists. "We aren't getting ahead of ourselves. We really have to go out there strong and show everyone what we have because I think we can really do it all this year."