Northport’s Emily Zeblisky embraced her inner Victoria Colatosti Wednesday.
After Northport’s leading scorer was unable to play in the girls soccer Suffolk Class AA championship because of two yellow cards in the semifinals, the entire team was devastated. But the players turned that into motivation to make sure it wouldn’t be Colatosti’s final game.
“Before I got on the bus, I hugged her and I go ‘I’m playing for you today,’” Zeblisky said. “And I did.”
And just like Colatosti has done so many times in the past, Zeblisky found the back of the net twice as No. 1 Northport defeated No. 10 Eastport-South Manor, 3-0, to win its second straight Suffolk Class AA championship Wednesday at Islip High School.
Northport (18-0) will play the Nassau AA champion, either No. 1 Calhoun or No. 3 Massapequa, Sunday at Bethpage High School at 10 a.m. in the Long Island championship/Southeast regional.
“I was doing it for Victoria, 100 percent,” Zeblisky said. “We want her back on Sunday . . . we did not want that to be her last game”
Zeblisky scored with 1:42 remaining in the first half and 20:16 remaining in the game, and Olivia Carner added the Tigers’ third goal on a breakaway with 11:05 remaining.
In their postgame celebration, the players held up seven fingers for Colatosti’s number, and facetimed her during the celebration.
“She deserved it,” midfielder Emily McNelis said. “She’s the reason why we’re here. She’s insane and it’s heartbreaking that she can’t be here for her senior game, but we’re going to Long Island (championship) and we’re going to play and she’s going to score three goals. I can already feel it.”
Eastport-South Manor finished its season 12-4-4 after an impressive postseason run, including wins over No. 2 Ward Melville and No. 3 Commack.
But Northport isn’t just satisfied with another county title. The Tigers want more.
“From day one, they wanted (to be) undefeated state champs,” coach Aija Gipp said. “And they are not going to stop until they get there.”