Mulholland gives MacArthur state title

MacArthur's Kelly Kempf and Jill Mullholland celebrate their MacArthur's Kelly Kempf and Jill Mullholland celebrate their championship plaque after their win over Arlington. (Nov. 20, 2011) Photo Credit: Pat Orr

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CORTLAND, N.Y. -- That noise heard in Levittown Sunday night was the MacArthur dance party rolling into town.

"Bus driver Jimmy is going to blast the music," Jill Mulholland said, "and we're going to go crazy."

A dance party has become the signature postgame celebration for MacArthur's girls soccer team. During the semifinal after party on Saturday, players jumped on beds as techno music blared and cellphone strobe lights shined. Those lights reflected nicely off the state championship plaque Sunday during their biggest party yet. Mulholland scored in MacArthur's 1-0 win over Arlington at SUNY Cortland to capture the first Class AA state title in program history.

"This means a lot," coach Lauren Gotta said. "It's so good for Levittown, it's so good for these girls."

Mulholland's 18th goal of the season proved to be the biggest of her five-year career.

Arianna Montefusco sent in a corner kick that was knocked around before Kelly Kempf fed Mulholland, who trapped the ball in front of the net and fired it in 11:40 into the game. Mulholland and Kempf are senior captains who have been teammates for five years.

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"This was our goal since we were in eighth grade," Kempf said. "To accomplish it, I'm just the happiest person alive."

The lead was barely threatened as MacArthur (18-2), led by Sam Sherman, Sam DiClemente and Jenny Scro, recorded its 15th shutout. Keeper Jena Cozza, who didn't get a touch on the ball, allowed only one goal in six postseason games.

Arlington's first shot didn't come until the final minute as Allie Pushkarsh fired just over the crossbar. That brief scare soon gave way to celebration.

"This is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime thing," Scro said. "We're going to miss our seniors, so I'm glad we ended it with this."

One of those seniors is the Hofstra-bound Mulholland, who was named Outstanding Player of the Game. But she leaves, music blaring and strobe lights shining, as a state champion

"I'll remember this for the rest of my life," Mulholland said. "Perfect ending."

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