After a perfect regular season in which it held teams scoreless in 2015, there wasn’t much the 2016 Northport girls soccer team could do to top last year’s success leading to the postseason.
That changes now as the Tigers wrapped up another undefeated Suffolk II season (14-0) after a 3-1 victory over host Whitman (6-6-1) Tuesday and look for its first Suffolk AA championship since 2013.
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“At this point it’s kind of like ‘We need to,’ ” said senior Cybele Laisney regarding a perfect record. “It almost didn’t feel like a choice. In the beginning of the season, we set our goals and one of our goals was most certainly to have an undefeated season, so it’s nice to fulfill that goal.”
The final Suffolk regular-season match wasn’t an easy one for the Tigers. After a scoreless first half, Northport scored first when Juliana Conforti corralled a loose ball off a pass from Victoria Colatosti and found the net 53 seconds into the second half. But Whitman responded less than four minutes later when Gianna LaMay scored off a cross from Marissa Martino 4:37 into the half for only the seventh goal Northport has allowed this season.
The Tigers had scoring chances throughout the game but couldn’t finish many opportunities. But midway in the second half, Colatosti fielded a throw-in and dribbled down the right sideline, cut to the middle, beat the keeper on the dribble and scored with 16:41 remaining to give the Tigers a 2-1 lead.
“There were so many shots and it was so frustrating because we were working so hard and the ball just doesn’t work out so just finally I took a shot,” Colatosti said. “[Coach Aija Gipp’s] always been encouraging us to takes shots, especially when we’re in the box, so I just tried to focus on that.”
The Tigers’ starting back line of Stephanie Rapp, Emilie Reynolds, Emily Cerrito and Caeley Gruhn with goalkeeper Emma Havrilla dictated the pace and possession like it has most of the season — taking pride in Northport’s undefeated season.
“It’s a really big accomplishment. We work hard for it,” Rapp said. “Nothing’s given to you; it’s a big achievement. It feels good to have an undefeated season and know we’re on top right now heading into playoffs.”
But their goals aren’t nearly done.
“From freshman year we’ve never exactly gotten to the point we wanted,” said Laisney, who added the third goal. “We’ve always been shooting for States since Day One, so it’s always nice to have that motivation going forward. It’s constantly there and we just all really want to win.”