These types of moments don’t come very often for defender Sophia Vespoli.
With 39 seconds remaining, Vespoli finished her run to the net by scoring the winning goal off Jordyn Levy’s cross to give host Half Hollow Hills West a 2-1 win over Glenn in Suffolk II girls soccer Tuesday.
“I just screamed ‘Jordyn’ and then she quickly slotted it to me and I went ‘Bam,’” said Vespoli, as she was doing a kicking motion. “But I thought the goalie was going to get it. I was really scared.
“It was awesome. I usually play sweeper, so I never really think I’m going to score,” she added. “This is probably one of the biggest goals I’ve ever scored.”
Levy escaped a defender during her run to the end line, before crossing to Vespoli to finish the play and deliver the victory.
“When I’m at the end line, I look up to players running in,” Levy said. “I tried it earlier in the game, but I saw Sophia running right toward the goal and she was wide open. It’s crazy in the last seconds right there. That’s the kind of game you dream of having and to win.”
Hills West (10-1) struck first with a goal from Carly Bloom with 18:14 remaining in the first half off a rebound from Ciara Brown’s shot with the goalkeeper charging out of the net.
“The keeper came out and she couldn’t get a handle on it and it bounced off her hand,” Bloom said, “so I figured I’d follow it up.”
Glenn (8-2-1) responded with a goal on a header by Miranda Smith off a corner kick from Emma Voege with 33:35 left in the second half.
Alexa Hinke made five saves for Hills West, including multiple point-blank scoring attempts by Glenn.
“It was definitely scaring me,” Hinke said. “But most of the time our defenders would get back and force a throw-in or corner kick or something.”
“She’s great, she’s a super athlete,” coach Ericka Verderber said. “She was huge today.”
And with Levy, who led Suffolk in points last season, creating the winning goal, the Colts know who to turn to with the game on the line.
“When we can get her the ball, she’s instrumental,” Verderber said. “When she gets the ball, whether its five seconds or 39 seconds left or whatever, something’s going to happen.”