Melina Von Toussaint of Portledge takes control of the ball...

Melina Von Toussaint of Portledge takes control of the ball during the PSAA girls high school soccer finals against Waldorf on Thursday, October 25, 2023 at Cantiague Park. Credit: Dawn McCormick

When Melina Von Toussaint fell to the turf after taking a hard foul on a run to the net, she wasn’t thinking about any of the outside noise. Not the girl who ran into her. Not the crowd. Not that she was robbed of an opportunity of a 1-on-1 goal.

She was solely focused on finishing. As she took the walk to the penalty-kick line, Von Toussaint was focused on hitting the back of the net.

“I was like, ‘I can’t pay attention to the fans on the sideline,' I just needed to think,'' Von Toussaint said. “I thought about it, I knew I was going to be good if I just blocked out everything else and I did it.”

She sure did. Von Toussaint converted the penalty kick for her first of three goals in the contest as top-seeded Portledge defeated No. 2 Waldorf, 5-0, in the girls soccer PSAA championship at Cantiague Park on Thursday afternoon. 

Von Toussaint scored her second goal a few minutes later to give Portledge a 2-0 lead with 29 minutes left in the first half.

“We were confident, but I don’t think as confident until we had a lead like that,” Von Toussaint said. “And I think that really helped us a lot.”

Portledge (14-1-1) advances to the NYSAIS girls soccer tournament, currently scheduled to begin on Monday. The exact date, location and opponent is to be determined. Waldorf finishes 7-3.

This was Portledge’s fourth straight PSAA championship as the girls want to continue the legacy of previous teams that conquered the league.

“We’ve gone from having a good team to having a soccer program,” coach Phil Hills said. 

Stephanie Ahee scored off an assist from Addy Martin to give Portledge a 3-0 lead before halftime. Von Toussaint headed in a cross from Everleigh Daniels to take a 4-0 lead in the second half and Lindsey Todd scored the game’s final goal.

For Von Toussaint, a junior and five-year varsity player, she picked the perfect time to have her first three-goal effort.

“This is my fifth year and I haven’t scored a hat trick,” she said. “So I’m really happy and we’re excited to move onto states.”

Hills said Portledge has never made it past the quarterfinals of the NYSAIS tournament. He and the players think this can be the team to make a deeper run in the postseason.

“I’d really like to see this team get to the semifinals,” Hills said. “And once you’re in the Final Four, anything can happen.”

“We are very determined to go far in the NYSAIS tournament,” Von Toussaint said. “We have a very, very strong team and there’s a chance we’re going to win.”


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