It may have taken a little bit of a reminder, but Brittany Fazin proved yet again in a big game, she’s a player you want on your team.
Fazin scored three goals in Port Jefferson’s 4-1 victory over Geneseo to give the Royals back-to-back state Class C girls soccer championships last Sunday in Cortland, in a performance leading her to be named Newsday’s Athlete of the Week.
Port Jefferson (17-1-1) trailed 1-0 at halftime and Fazin admitted to playing a little hesitant early. Instead of taking over the game herself, like she has throughout her 25-goal, 12-assist senior year, she deferred to skilled teammates such as Jillian Colucci and Clare O’Connor.
Until those teammates reminded Fazin the caliber of player she is.
“In soccer, you do need to be risky,” Fazin said. “But I was just like, ‘No, you can do it.’ I didn’t believe in myself, so it just took a halftime speech and a pep talk from my teammates and my coach to build up my confidence and tell me ‘You do have a good shot. You should be taking these shots. You should be taking these risks. It’s the final, you should give it all you got.’
“They just brought me back to my original game,” she said. “They reminded me of how I can actually play and what I can do.”
And that pep talk spelled disaster for Geneseo as Fazin scored two of her three goals in a three-minute span to give the Royals a 3-1 lead en route to being named championship MVP — which was a shock to herself. Again, deferring to her teammates.
“Jillian Colucci is such an amazing player and she played so great that game, too, and I couldn’t have done anything without her so I expected her to get it,” Fazin said. “But for me to get it, it was just such a great feeling. I never expected it.”
Despite moving to Port Jefferson in her junior year from Sachem North after her father got a new job, Fazin was able to easily connect with her new teammates, largely because of their experience playing on the same travel team. Coming from a large school district, Fazin wasn’t sure what to expect at a smaller school, but those worries were quickly erased.
“It was just exciting to see what Port Jeff is like and to have girls who are like a family to me,” Fazin said. “It was just really exciting and it was really cool to have girls connect to me so quickly and care for me so fast.”
Coach Michelle Aponte credited Fazin, who will play at LIU Brooklyn next year, as a key addition to bringing state championship glory to Port Jefferson.
“I think she just blended in well with the team because of the skills she has,” Aponte said. “She’s a great kid and a great player.”