It was one final chance for Long Island girls soccer players to represent their community with an opportunity to showcase their talent for a potential future school.
On a chilly Friday at Cold Spring Harbor, many of the area’s top girls soccer players met on one field in front of fans and college coaches to wrap up one part of their lives and hope to start another with a doubleheader of Nassau-Suffolk Girls Senior All-Star games, featuring top uncommitted senior student-athletes.
“I didn’t have the greatest school season,” Hicksville's Kate Cimino said. “So to be able to end with a bunch of talented people, it was great to contribute in such a way that helped make us look like really good soccer players.”
Cimino finished with a goal and an assist in the first game as Nassau defeated Suffolk, 3-0. West Hempstead's Sabrina Rodrigues scored the first two goals of the game in a span of less than two minutes, taking a 2-0 lead with 27:08 remaining in the second half.
“As a last game, I think it boosts my confidence, especially since we did have some college coaches here,” Rodrigues said. “Personally, it helps to boost my confidence a lot.”
After spending the past few weeks practicing and preparing, the chemistry began to show on the field, with Cimino assisting on Rodrigues’ second goal.
“By the last practice and just warming up, you could tell we were starting to come together,” Cimino said. “And I think that really showed in the second half of the game.”
Seaford's Arianna Casha preserved the shutout in net, charging out and playing a strong game in the back.
“I love pressure,” Casha said. “It keeps the adrenaline pumping and it’s a good time. It’s why I love the position.”
Nassau continued its impressive All-Star performance with a 4-2 victory over Suffolk in the second game.
North Shore's Donatella Tocco scored the first two goals for Nassau, giving it a 2-0 lead with 13:05 left in the first half in her final high school soccer game.
“It feels pretty good because I got two goals in, but it’s also sad,” Tocco said. “But I’m hoping to play college soccer soon, so it’s bittersweet.”
After Comsewogue's Aryanna Ortiz scored with 5:29 left in the first half, Hicksville's Erin Fogarty responded with a goal seven seconds later to give Nassau a 3-1 lead entering halftime.
Roosevelt's Jennifer Hernandez scored from about 20 yards to give Nassau a 4-1 lead with 30:03 left in the game. Longwood's Courtney Nelson scored the game’s final goal.
With one final opportunity to show their talents while representing their school, all the players on the field hoped for the chance to don the colors of a future program.
“I think my speed improved a lot over the years,” Tocco said. “So I think I just need to work more on that to make it better and just keep making runs when I have the ball and making opportunities happen.”