Carle Place girls soccer reaches first state final in school history
CORTLAND, N.Y. — What started off as a passing joke has turned into a chance at history.
The Carle Place girls soccer program had never advanced to a state semifinal, so the thought of playing in a state final seemed foreign. Nobody is laughing now as the Frogs are one win away from a state crown after defeating Byron-Bergen, 2-0, in a state Class C semifinal at Homer High School Saturday morning.
"We would joke about it at the beginning of the season," senior midfielder Abigail Lyons said. "We really didn’t think much of it because we didn’t want to think too far into the future."
But the future is now. Carle Place plays Ausable Valley in the state Class C final at SUNY-Cortland at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday. Byron-Bergen finished 19-4.
"We’ve never been to states before in school history, so just getting to this point was an accomplishment," Lyons said. "But then moving on and getting to that final game is absolutely amazing."
Alexandra Feit scored both goals for Carle Place (9-4-2). She scored her first goal following a rebound off Lyons’ shot midway through the first half and added her second goal off a corner kick from Caitlin Leary with 16:43 remaining in the second half.
Feit sensed before the corner kick that she needed to be stationed in front of the goal in a pivotal moment in the contest.
"I was outside and I told [a teammate] I wanted to go in because I was feeling it," Feit said. "And I ended up scoring off it, so it was good I did," she added with a laugh.
Feit, a senior, has been playing some of her best soccer this postseason. She also scored two goals in the Long Island Class C championship and in the Southeast Regional Final. Coach Katie Bohack has used Feit in multiple positions during the season based on injuries and game situations and she’s been thrilled with the performance.
"She’s been awesome," Bohack said. "She’s a coach’s dream. She plays wherever we ask her to with a smile and the fact that she’s amazing along with that is awesome."
The Carle Place backline, including Lauren Gillespie, Amanda Leary, Jenna Cavallaro and Emily Ribarich, along with eight saves from Jenna Lenihan had a strong game to keep Byron-Bergen off the scoreboard. The Frogs’ six seniors have shared a field since a young age, and the opportunity to play their final high school game on a state championship stage will be unforgettable.
"It’s going to be crazy," Lyons said. "I’m really hoping the crowd is big and it’s loud. We’re all so hyped for it. We’re ready."