The All-Long Island girls soccer first team at Newsday studios...

The All-Long Island girls soccer first team at Newsday studios on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2023. Front row, from left: Julianna Bivona of Sacred Heart, Peyton Costello of Ward Melville, Madison DeMaio of Smithtown West, Chloe Benik of Garden City, Maddie Costello of Ward Melville, Ciara Brown of Half Hollow Hills West. Back row, from left: Coach Emily Fey of Smithtown West, Alexis Re of Riverhead, Kaylin Mallon of Connetquot, Briana Neary of Massapequa, Nora Basile of South Side, Grace Hillis of Shoreham-Wading River, Coach Gabe Ramos of Sacred Heart. Credit: Peter Frutkoff

Newsday Player of the Year: Peyton Costello, Ward Melville, F, Sr.

Peyton Costello doesn’t stop moving.

Whether she’s running sprints in practice, playing a Suffolk Division I game in the middle of the week or finishing the final minutes with a four-goal lead in the state final, Costello was constantly pushing the pace. She was the tone-setter. She was the example. In the end, she was the best.

Costello, a 5-3 forward, doesn’t strike you as the most imposing force on a field. But once she gets on the pitch, there's no doubt. Costello was the centerpiece in back-to-back state championship seasons for Ward Melville, capped off by scoring 15 goals with four assists this year as Ward Melville won the state Class AAA championship in a 19-0-3 season. For that, she was named Newsday’s girls soccer Player of the Year.

“She just has a tremendous work rate and she’s worked hard to become that player,” coach John Diehl said. “She’s just a supreme competitor. She doesn’t accept mediocrity and that’s how she is. She’s an elite player and that’s what she shares with all elite players that there’s just this relentless determination to become better and she’s taken that on. That to me is the essence of Peyton.”

Costello was often at her best in the most important games throughout her four-year varsity tenure. She scored two goals in this year’s state final after scoring a goal in a 2-0 win over Massapequa in the Long Island Class AAA championship game. Costello, who is committed to play Division I soccer at the College of Williams & Mary, also had two goals in the Long Island championship last season, leading to the first state crown in program history.

“How she impacts the play and how she raises the level of the team, that’s not going to be in the stats,” Diehl said. “She’s not a pure goal scorer but it’s what she does and how she controls the game, whether she’s in possession or out. You can just see it.”

Nassau Player of the Year: Julianna Bivona, Sacred Heart, D, Sr.

Throughout Julianna Bivona’s four years on the Sacred Heart varsity team, there was one hurdle the team seemingly couldn’t get over — defeating St. Anthony’s in the league final. That changed this season, and Bivona was a big reason why. She’s a defender by nature, but Bivona is a pure soccer player with the ability to contribute in every facet of the game.

Bivona had six goals and four assists on the season, including recording at least one point in all four playoff games, en route to Sacred Heart winning its first state CHSAA championship since 2016. She was also a lockdown defender, never shying away from taking on an opposing team’s top offensive player. For her overall dominance, she’s Newdsay’s girls soccer Nassau Player of the Year.

Bivona, committed to play at the University of South Florida, had three goals and two assists over four playoff games, including a goal and an assist as Sacred Heart defeated St. Joseph by the Sea, 3-1, in the state CHSAA Class AA final. She had an assist in Sacred Heart’s 2-0 win over St. Anthony’s in the league final.


Nora Basile, South Side, F, Sr.

The St. John’s commit had 11 goals for the Nassau Class AA champions, including scoring the winner on a penalty kick in overtime of a 1-0 win over Garden City in the county final. The four-year varsity player was key in transition and was constantly marked by some of the top defenders on Long Island, yet had at least one point in 11 of 18 games this year.

Chloe Benik, Garden City, M, Jr.

She had 11 goals and four assists and played a key role in the Trojans' offense and defensive schemes. Benik was integral in Garden City reaching the Nassau Class AA final and is committed to play at Cornell.

Ciara Brown, Half Hollow Hills West, F, Sr.

If there was one player you didn’t want to find yourself in a 1-on-1 situation with on Long Island, it might be Brown. And her breakaway speed made that a common occurrence. She had nine goals and two assists, including two goals in the playoffs, for the Suffolk Class AA runner-ups. Brown, who is committed to play at Auburn, was always at the center of opposing coaches' game plans and still recorded at least one point in 11 of 16 games.

Maddie Costello, Ward Melville, M, Jr.

The younger sister of Peyton was part of arguably the best 1-2 combination on Long Island. The fact Peyton and Maddie were sisters certainly didn’t hurt their chemistry on the pitch as Maddie had three goals and nine assists. She was a key piece in transition and often made passes and runs that would lead to goals. . Maddie, who is committed to play at Clemson and is a member of the U.S. U-17 youth national team, even assisted on Peyton’s final goal in the state final.

Madison DeMaio, Smithtown West, M, Sr.

There wasn’t much opposing teams could do to contain DeMaio. The Monmouth University commit had 17 goals and four assists, scoring in 13 straight games before reaching the state semifinals. DeMaio scored the lone goals in a 1-0 win over Half Hollow Hills West in the Suffolk Class AA championship and again in a 1-0 win over South Side in the Long Island Class AA championship en route to Smithtown West reaching the state final.

Grace Hillis, Shoreham-Wading River, D Sr.

Hillis was a key piece in everything SWR did. And the Wildcats feared losing her late in the regular season because of a leg injury. Hillis not only returned for the playoffs, she excelled. The Old Dominion University commit had at least one point in all five playoff games before suffering a 2-0 loss in the state Class A final. Hillis had 12 goals and seven assists, including five goals and two assists over six playoff games. While also playing lockdown defense, she had both goals in a 2-0 win over Kings Park in the Suffolk Class A final and then had a goal and an assist in a 2-0 win over Plainedge in the Long Island Class A championship.

Kaylin Mallon, Connetquot, M, Jr.

The Kentucky commit had 11 goals and three assists. She has the versatility to move between midfield and forward with elite speed, striking and playmaking ability.

Briana Neary, Massapequa, M, Sr.

Neary led Nassau Conference I, arguably one of the toughest conferences in the country this season because of the ability-based conferences and state classification realignments, in goals (12), assists (eight) and points (20). The Siena commit had four goals and two assists in four playoff games while controlling the pace with elite foot skills in the middle of the field for the Nassau Class AAA champions.

Alexis Re, Riverhead, F, Sr.

She led Long Island in goals (32) and points (35) despite playing in just 15 games with Riverhead missing the playoffs. Every team knew she was the player to stop and still, very few found ways of doing so. Re had at least one goal in 11 of 15 games with eight games with multiple goals. The strong-footed scorer with quick footwork is committed to play at West Virginia.

Nassau Coach of the Year: Gabe Ramos, Sacred Heart

He guided Sacred Heart to its first state title since 2016 in his first year with the program.

Suffolk Coach of the Year: Emily Fey, Smithtown West

She guided Smithtown West to its first state final appearance in program history after winning just its second Long Island championship as a program.


Leila Anazagasty-Pursoo, St. John the Baptist, D, Jr.

Mallory Anderson, Smithtown East, F, Sr.

Brooke Barrie, Syosset, M, Sr.

Riley Benito, Massapequa, D, Sr.

Olivia Bozzo, Smithtown East, F/M, Jr.

Isabella Calabro, MacArthur, M, Jr.

Kaitlin Conway, Sachem East, M, Sr.

Brooke Delzatto, Lindenhurst, GK, Jr.

Lauren DiPierri, Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK, M, Sr.

Sophia Dorsey, St. Anthony’s, M, Sr.

Isabella Juliano, Bayport-Blue Point, M, Sr.

Giavanna Meservy, Connetquot, M/D, Sr.

Mae Mullen, Sacred Heart, F, Sr.

Avrie Nelsen, St. Anthony’s, F, Jr.

Erin Palmeri, West Islip, D, Jr.

Evangeline Perdomo, Bay Shore, M, Jr.

Sydney Romano, Wheatley, M/GK, Sr.

Avery Testa, South Side, GK, Sr.

Adriana Victoriano, Ward Melville, F, Jr.

Lucy Younghans, Plainedge, M, Sr.


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