Smithtown Christian girls soccer lose in 'D' title game
CORTLAND, N.Y. - The long and winding road has come to an end for Christina Casamassina and Chelsea Bellini, the Lennon and McCartney of Smithtown Christian girls soccer.
After making sweet music together for the past three years, becoming the best scoring forward tandem on Long Island and leading Smithtown Christian to consecutive state tournaments, the two had their final performance together Saturday after Smithtown Christian lost 3-1 to Chazy in the state Class D championship game at Tompkins-Cortland CC.
"We both have our own styles of play but it has worked," said Casamassina, a senior who will play at Stony Brook in the fall, leaving the team to Bellini. "We helped bring the program as far as we could. We did our best today and I guess it just wasn't enough."
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After Chazy's Astrid Kempainen scored two goals in the first 17:14 of the game, Casamassina and Bellini combined for a beautiful give-and-go in the box that resulted in Bellini knocking in the rebound of Casamassina's shot with 12 minutes left in the half.
But that would be the last of the 73 goals the two combined for this season and the closest the Knights would get after Chelsea Guay scored on a corner kick 4:35 later to put Chazy ahead 3-1.
"It's disappointing because we worked well together," Bellini said. "It's going to be a tough loss because I always liked knowing that she was there and being able to trust someone with the ball. So I don't know what next year is going to be like."
Next year will certainly be a transition for Smithtown Christian which, in addition to losing Casamassina, will also be without core members such as Annette Mims and Dominique Jack.
"I've been playing varsity for six years now so knowing this was my last game was definitely sad," Mims said. "I wish the girls the best in the future."
Jack's final game with the Knights was cut short after suffering an ankle injury in the opening minutes, a loss coach Steve Chandler feels his team was unable to overcome.
"We lost that pivotal player in the midfield and it went south from there," Chandler said. "In the second half we just couldn't finish opportunities when they came about."
The loss was the first of the season for Smithtown Christian (15-1), who in a cruel twist of fate, suffered their last loss to the same team by the same score one year ago to the day in the state semifinals.
"I told the girls they are the second best team in the state and that's nothing to hang their head about," Chandler said. "You have a league championship, a regional championship, and you played in the final of the New York State championship. There is no other place to go, this is the top in high school soccer."
With those words of wisdom, Smithtown Christian can look back on the best season in school history, and let it be.