Cold Spring Harbor girls fall in state soccer semifinals

Cold Spring Harbor's Alica Roy reacts to her Cold Spring Harbor's Alica Roy reacts to her team's loss at the NYSPHSAA girls soccer championships at Tompkins Community College in Cortland. (Nov. 17, 2012) Photo Credit: Gregg Ordon

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DRYDEN, N.Y. -- Shortly after playing the final game of her soccer career, Katherine Rueger took time to reflect the past and predict the future.

The reflection: "This has been the best four seasons of my life," she said. "I love this team more than anything."

The prediction: "The talent is unbelievable on this team," she said. "I have faith that they will bring home a state championship next year."

The senior defender and captain, who will play lacrosse at Davidson, helped lead a strong defensive effort but Cold Spring Harbor lost, 1-0, to Oneonta in the Class B state semifinals Saturday at Tompkins Community College.

Shelby Cleaveland sent a ball over the top of the defense to Dani Nicosia, who was nearly offsides before chipping the winner over the keeper with 33:12 remaining.

Oneonta (18-2-1) withstood late pressure by the Seahawks, including three corner kicks in the final seven minutes.

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Alicia Roy served a corner to Chelsea Tuohy, whose header bounced around in front of the net and nearly carried over the goal line before being cleared.

With the net empty after a scramble with five minutes left, Oneonta defender Amy Hait made a sliding save on a shot by Teressa Fazio to prevent a game-tying goal.

"We put forth a lot of aggression and heart but it wasn't enough today," Fazio said. "We had a successful season and I'm sure we'll be back here next year."

The Seahawks (15-4), who have won two straight Long Island championships, will lose two key starters to graduation in Rueger and keeper Stephanie Mahder, who made seven saves.

Also departing will be 28-year assistant coach Theresa Mercer, whose nickname Salty comes from her maiden name of Soltiz. The team wore the slogan "For Salt" on the back of their shooting shirts in hopes of capturing a state title in her final season.

"It's the kindest and most thoughtful thing someone has ever done for me," Mercer said. "These girls are really special to me."

With a strong core returning next season, Cold Spring Harbor hopes to learn from the present, build on the past and take that next step in the future.

"We built on last year's loss, we're going to build on this year's loss," Seahawks coach Steve Cacioppo said. "We're going to keep trying to win one of these things."

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