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Hope Breslin leads Massapequa to Nassau AA girls soccer title

In yet another exciting girls soccer postseason, here are a couple of the key moments leading to new and repeat champions. (Credit:Newsday/Owen O'Brien)

There was no rushing the field. No Gatorade dumps. No selfie circles.

Just a sense of pride with a stronger feeling of unfinished business.

“We were definitely very excited to win,” said Hope Breslin, who had two goals in No. 1 Massapequa’s 5-1 victory over No. 2 Calhoun to capture the Nassau AA girls soccer championship Tuesday at Cold Spring Harbor High School. “But we just know our next games are bigger and bigger and we’re just excited for those to come.”

The Chiefs (15-1-2), three-time defending Class AA state champions, advance to face Suffolk AA champion and top-seeded Northport (18-1-1) Friday at St. Joseph’s College at 6:30 p.m. after winning its 14th county championship in the last 15 years. Friday’s winner advances to the state semifinal in Cortland on Nov. 12.

Calhoun (9-4-5) struck first on Kathryn Healy’s penalty-kick goal just 7:23 into the first half. But it didn’t take long for Massapequa to push the pace offensively, as Breslin beat a pair of defenders for a goal after receiving a ball from Grace Bernardi with 21:41 remaining in the first half.

“We knew we had to just stay composed,” Breslin said, “play our game and we’d be fine.”

“It’s just an amazing asset to have when you have someone that can step up and take over and put a goal in to ease everyone’s nerves,” said coach Bruce Stegner about Breslin, a member of all three state championship squads. “There’s so much confidence when she’s on the field and she’s able to convert, it settles everything down.”

Cassidy Byrns scored Massapequa’s second goal off a rebound from Julia Hannon’s shot five minutes later following a corner kick to give the Chiefs a 2-1 lead.

“I’m always in the box on corners so to actually produce on the corner is awesome,” Byrns, a centerback, said. “I just saw the ball and my foot hit it and it went right in.”

Sierra Brophy, Cristina Ferrara and Breslin scored the final Chiefs goals. Haylee Poltorak had a strong game in net for Massapequa with seven saves, often coming out of the net to erase Colts scoring chances.

After a calm walk off the field and posing for the obligatory team photos, Massapequa is already thinking about its next goal.

“We know this isn’t where we want to finish,” Byrns said. “We want to be back at Long Islands and then states.”

Maybe then, there will be a more elaborate celebration.


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