Lexie Thompson, MacArthur goalie, right, and Caitlin Barry #13 celebrate...

Lexie Thompson, MacArthur goalie, right, and Caitlin Barry #13 celebrate after their team's 1-0 win over Shoreham-Wading River in the Class A girls soccer Long Island Championship at at Berner Middle School in Massapequa on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022. Credit: James Escher

For a casual observer, MacArthur goalkeeper Lexie Thompson would have been putting on a performance unlike any other on Saturday. But for the Generals coaches and players, the multiple diving saves, organizing the backline and her complete control of the game was just another day on the field.

“That’s the thing, this wasn’t a new level,” coach Steve Costello said. “When we play a lesser opponent, she doesn’t have to do all that. But when we play the South Sides and Garden Citys, she does that. That’s her. That was not her rising to the occasion. That was Lexie Thompson every day.”

And what Lexie Thompson is every day is a master between the posts. Thompson had 11 saves, multiple diving saves and 1-on-1 stops, as MacArthur defeated Shoreham-Wading River, 1-0, in the girls soccer Long Island Class A championship/Southeast Regional Final at Berner Middle School Saturday afternoon.

Sara Kealey scored the game’s lone goal with 28:28 left in the first half.

“There are no words to describe her goalkeeping,” Costello said of Thompson. “There are no just words. It should not be happening at the high school level.”

But it is happening. And it has sent MacArthur (14-0-2) to the state Class A semifinals against Albertus Magnus at Tompkins Cortland Community College Saturday at 10 a.m. It’s the program’s first Long Island title since 2011.

Shoreham-Wading River (16-3-1) put constant pressure on MacArthur. Even 90 seconds into the contest, the Wildcats had a 1-on-1 opportunity near the net, which Thompson saved.

“That was big,” Thompson said. “To go down 1-0 that early would have changed the game. We all did our part but that one felt good.”

Thompson had another sequence with 12 minutes left in the first half when she made a diving save to her left, only to immediately stand up and make a full extension save at the top of the net to send the ball out of bounds. She made another diving save with 16 minutes left in the second half to preserve the shutout.

The senior isn’t one to put the credit on herself for making unbelievable stops. She wants to enjoy those moments with her defense.

“It’s an indescribable feeling,” Thompson said. “When you make a save like that, it’s just great. Sometimes I’ll get up and be like, ‘How’d I get here?’”

“She’s insane, you’ll never find a better goalie,” midfielder Sara Kealey said. “She flies. She’s just built different.”

Kealey scored when she intercepted a clear attempt by the Shoreham-Wading River defense after the goalkeeper charged out of the net and scored on a mostly open goal from 20 yards out.

“I was ready for anything,” Kealey said. “I ran onto it, controlled it and hoped for the best when I hit it. I wasn’t really expecting [the ball] right away and then when it was there, I was like ‘OK, this is my opportunity. I have to finish it.’”

Costello praised Shoreham-Wading River’s play and ability to challenge the MacArthur defense throughout the contest.

“Shoreham-Wading River played fantastic, they are a great team,” he said. “We are very fortunate to move along. We didn’t play our best game but credit to them. They put a lot of pressure on us. They are big and strong and athletic. We bent but didn’t break.”


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