Meet the players who earned first-team honors for Newsday's All-Long Island girls soccer team in 2017.
Long Island Player of the Year: Selena Fortich, North Shore, M, Sr.
Although North Shore coach Lauren Gotta said she never would move a player up to varsity as a seventh-grader, she understood why it was done for Selena Fortich.
Gotta, who was coaching at MacArthur at the time, first met Fortich as a seventh-grader in a North Shore gym class and immediately was taken back by the young player's soccer ability during a unit.
"As much as I'm not for seventh graders especially on varsity," Gotta said, "I was like, 'Look the kid's good. She's got talent. She's got it.'"
Fortich, who will play her college soccer at the University of Miami, only kept improving from there, culminating in leading North Shore to its first Long Island Class A championship in school history and being named Newsday's Long Island Player of the Year.
"She was not the type of kid that would plateau at any point," Gotta said. "She's was just going to keep getting better."
Fortich, a tenacious two-way midfielder with four goals and four assists this season, plays with a flare few competitors can match on the field. She's a vocal player and leader who demands and expects the best from herself and those around her.
"She's just very intense all-around, so every emotion she gets is intense," Gotta said. "If she's frustrated, it's intense. If she's happy, it's intense. It all comes from the same place and it's the desire to win."
Suffolk Player of the Year: Hannah Franco, Islip, F/M, Sr.
Nothing was going to keep Islip's Hannah Franco from playing in this season's county final.
Islip coach Mike Reilly said Franco played the county championship with a contusion on her entire rib cage, but the senior wasn't going to sit on the side with the chance for another title.
"During the game I asked her, 'Alright, how are you holding up?' Reilly said. "And she's like 'Well, besides the breathing thing, I'm doing well.' But she didn't tell anyone, that was just between me and her."
Islip dropped the county championship in penalty kicks, but that toughness was on display throughout her five-year varsity tenure, and her uncanny ability to score and assist her teammates -- posting eight goals and 18 assists this season -- earned her the Newsday Suffolk Player of the Year.
Franco, who split time between striker and midfield, will play at NYIT next year.
"Out of all those great teams, and I've had really great teams," Reilly said, "there is no doubt in my mind that Hannah Franco is the most important individual player I've ever had for any team."
Talani Barnett, Bay Shore, D, Sr.
With incredible field vision and ball control, Barnett can play a ball to a teammate anywhere on the field in stride. A threat at any position, she possesses the ability to dribble through some of Long Island's best talents and also chase down a striker on defense. She will play at Ohio State.
Taylor Curcio, Calhoun, D/M, Sr.
The physical defender anchored a defense that only allowed four goals this season and reached the Nassau Class AA championship game. Curcio can start the offense at midfield and find forwards to initiate scoring runs in transition. She will play at Hofstra.
Izzy Glennon, North Shore, F, Sr.
A four-year varsity player, Glennon had 17 goals and three assists for the Long Island Class A champions. Glennon created nightmare matchups throughout the season, scoring the winning goal in a 1-0 victory over Shoreham-Wading River in the Long Island Class A championship game. She will play at Dartmouth.
Caitlin Kennedy, Sacred Heart, F, Jr.
Kennedy ranked second in the CHSAA in points with 17 goals and eight assists. She led a Sacred Heart team whose only league losses came to state champion St. Anthony's.
Lydia Kessel, Shoreham-Wading River, G, Sr.
Kessel started and ended her four-year varsity tenure with county titles, as the senior led the Wildcats to a championship victory following penalty kicks over Islip this season. Kessel recorded 12 shutouts this season -- and 48 during her four years on varsity -- and will be playing at Vermont.
Kayla Leary, East Meadow, D, Jr.
A fast and strong defender that rarely loses a ball in the air, she led East Meadow to only one regular-season loss in Nassau AA-I. She also can provide a threat on offense, adding three goals.
Olivia Maldonado, Babylon, F, Sr.
Maldonado was a key member of a strong Babylon attack throughout the season, both in scoring (18 goals) and in orchestrating her teammates (10 assists). The five-year varsity player led Babylon to its first Long Island Class B championship since 2004 and will play at Manhattan College.
Emily McNelis, Northport, M, Sr.
A hard-nosed midfielder contributing on both sides of the field, she totaled 15 goals and 17 assists for the Suffolk Class AA champions. McNelis rarely loses a ball at midfield and will go on to play at Siena.
Brianna Passaro, St. Anthony’s, F, Jr.
Passaro led the CHSAA with 20 goals and 10 assists, including two goals and an assist in the each of the state semifinal and championship games. Her scoring ability fueled St. Anthony's to an undefeated CHSAA state championship season.
Haylee Poltorak, Massapequa, G, Sr.
Poltorak anchoredthe Chiefs to their fifth straight appearance in the state Class AA championship game. The two-year starting goalkeeper controls the 18-yard box with a fearless style and will play at Binghamton next year.
Nassau Coach of the Year: Lauren Gotta, North Shore
Gotta guided North Shore to its first county and Long Island Class A championship in program history.
Suffolk Coach of the Year: Sue Alber, St. Anthony’s
Alber guided St. Anthony's to its second state CHSAA championship in the past three seasons, finishing 17-0.
The All-Long Island second team
Sarah Bayer, Mepham, F, Sr.
Grace Bernardi, Massapequa, M, Jr.
Jenn Bonifazio, St. Anthony's, D, Sr.
Nicky Constant, Shoreham-Wading River, F, Jr.
Gina Giovinco, Lynbrook, F, Sr.
Gia Inzerillo, Eastport-South Manor, F, Jr.
Jordyn Levy, Half Hollow Hills West, F, Fr.
Jackie Morris, Garden City, M, Sr.
Emily Rose, Holy Trinity, D/F, Sr.
Allison Seidman, Commack, F, Sr.
Nicole Scudero, Hauppauge, M, Sr.
Stephanie Sparkowski, East Meadow, G, Soph. (pictured)