West Islip keeper Cali Loeffler reacts after defeating Smithtown West...

West Islip keeper Cali Loeffler reacts after defeating Smithtown West in the Suffolk Class AA final on Nov. 5, 2014. Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

With the county championship coming down to penalty kicks, Vanessa Costantino delivered a message to her goalkeeper, Cali Loeffler.

"She told me, 'You save one, you're a hero,' " Loeffler said. "You save two, they build you a monument in your town.' "

It's a line from a movie the team watches before each game. But if it's true, there will soon be a monument of Cali Loeff ler built in West Islip.

After 110 minutes of scoreless soccer, Loeffler made two diving saves in penalty kicks and Paige Sherlock scored in the fifth round to give No. 5 West Islip a 4-3 shootout victory over No. 2 Smithtown West in the Class AA county championship Wednesday night at Dowling Athletic Complex.

"All that was going through my head was, 'Confidence, Cali! Confidence!' " Loeffler said. "I read their hips, I picked one side and gave it all I had. This is a dream come true."

Loeffler, who made 13 saves in regulation and overtime, made a full extension diving stop in the first round of the shootout. Carly Kohler then scored to give West Islip the advantage. Costantino and Dominique Sarcona each converted before Smithtown West keeper Bernadette Savino made a save to send the teams into the final round tied at 3.

Loeffler then made another beautiful diving stop to her right, setting up Sherlock's walk-off winner.

"I went up there with confidence," Sherlock said. "I knew which way I wanted to go and I stuck with it. To be able to score that goal for my team is indescribable."

Smithtown West (17-3) dominated possession throughout. The Bulls' best scoring opportunity came when Alicia D'Aoust fired a line drive that was tipped over the crossbar by Loeffler with 16:20 remaining.

"I couldn't ask for a better team to be celebrating with," said Kohler, who has solidified the Lions' defense since shifting from midfield to sweeper. "Last year leaving this field hysterically crying and now I'm leaving here a county champion."

West Islip (15-3-1) plays defending state champion Massapequa in the Class AA Long Island championship on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Dowling Athletic Complex.

So, where should they build this monument to Loeffler?

"Right on Lions Path," Costantino said of the street West Islip High School is on.


FOR OUR BEST OFFER ONLY 25¢ for 5 months

Unlimited Digital Access.

cancel anytime.