Massapequa’s Brenna Brown had no way of knowing how much time was left in regulation when she stepped up for her free kick from 20 yards out, but she was aware it was her foot that would determine the game’s outcome.
With the scoreboard in her sight reading a one-goal deficit with the final two minutes of the game being kept on the field, Brown tried her best to remain composed with a fifth straight trip to the girls soccer Class AA state semifinals on the line.
“It was terrifying,” Brown said. “I almost started crying.”
The kick did bring tears to nearly every Massapequa player on the field — tears of joy. Brown drilled her free kick for a goal with four seconds remaining in the second half and Kate Fiola scored off an assist from Kayla Mushorn with 7:48 remaining in the second overtime period as Massapequa defeated Northport, 2-1, in the Class AA Long Island championship/Southeast regional at Bethpage High School Sunday.
“It was so nerve-wracking,” Brown said. “I was thinking about everything and then [captain] Morgan Camarda came up to me and calmed me down and I just stopped thinking and kicked it and it hit the back of the net.”
Massapequa (14-3-2), the winner of three of the last four Class AA state championships, plays Clarence (Buffalo) in the state semifinal at SUNY Cortland Saturday at 5:30 p.m.
“That’s a courageous thing to be honest with you because you don’t want to be the one that has the last chance and you put it over the top [of the net],” coach Bruce Stegner said of Brown’s goal. “So for her to do what she did is just once in a lifetime.”
It was Massapequa’s second straight double-overtime victory after defeating Calhoun, 1-0, to win the Nassau AA championship Friday.
The emotional scene following Brown’s goal carried into overtime as Fiola broke free for the winning goal.
“I knew that I just had to keep calm,” Fiola said. “And I knew once I hit it, it was going to be a goal.”
Northport (18-1) struck first with a free-kick goal from 50 yards out by Isabel Yeomans in the third minute.
Massapequa controlled the pace throughout much of the second half, changing from a four to three defender backline. The defense of Brown, Kirstyn Kilmeade, Alexandra Valentine and Elisabeth Hingher with Grace Bernardi at midfield and Haylee Poltorak in net making 10 saves played tough to limit the potent Northport offense’s chances.
Massapequa lost last year’s state title game in double overtime and has used that game as motivation throughout the season.
“After losing in the double overtime last year, I think this is just our time for redemption,” Poltorak said. “Our time for revenge and just get the state title.”