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SportsHigh SchoolGirls Soccer

Postgame: Kings Park vs. Islip

A lot of what was said following Thursday's game between Kings Park and Islip, dubbed "Lauren Strong." did not make it into the story. The game was dedicated to Lauren Lenardi, a Kings Park sophomore who is battling a rare cancer, alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma (ARMS). Here are the remarks following Kings Park's 5-1 victory.

Marjorie Duffel:

On the game:

I think we played very well. We knew we were all coming out for a good cause. We were already pumped up and in good spirits. I think we had a lot of energy playing off of each other and coming out here and be able to pick up each other’s energy and put it into the game.

On getting a hat trick:

It’s my second time this season against the same team. Whenever we score and can help the team, it’s always good and a hat trick is a personal accomplishment.

On the first goal, scored less than a minute into the game:

It was pretty much being at the right place in the right time. It right off of her and I was there to save us. It was getting there and making the far post run and being at the right place.

On her third goal:

Scherb kicked it first and it came out. I was right there and it hit of the other team and went right in.

On what playing for Lauren means to her:

Anytime we can come out and win by that amount it’s always an accomplishment. Especially today, when we devote it to Lauren it’s that much more important and fulfilling because we’re playing for someone. It shows we can come out and put all of our energy in for one person.

Amanda Scherb:

On the game:

We did prepare well. We focus in practice on working hard as a team. Today I thought we did that. We really worked together, we talked, we communicated, everything worked out very well for us. From the start we had a very big focus on this game because we knew that we needed this.

On the first goal of the game:

I saw her drive for the goal. Once you see those defenders I knew what I had to do. I drove it to the goal. Luckily my friend Marjorie, who I can always count on to get there, she gets there. I have her back, she has mine.

On what she thought being up 3-0 at halftime:

We had to keep that focus that sure we’re winning but it could easily have been the other way. We had to focus on what we needed to do.

On playing for Lauren:

We played for Lauren today. She is such an inspiration to us all. She’s so brave and inspiring. She really works hard and I thought this game was a great idea.

Kings Park coach Bryan LoPalo

On scoring early:

Especially in this atmosphere with all these people. Usually we’ll have 25 people at our games, to have this many people at our game and to come out and put one in that quick I think settled our team down. Marjorie knows how to finish, doesn’t make a difference how she finishes, she’ll find a way to put the ball in the net.

On Amanda Scherb:

Amanda Scherb is the hardest working person not only in a game, in practice. The same attitude she has in a game is what she brings to practice on a daily basis. She’s what every other girl on our team looks up to. They just want to work as hard as her and be like her. She’s the most selfless player. She looks to set everybody up.

On winning for Lauren:

It’s great. It’s kind of a relief in some ways. I was getting nervous, we’ve been playing tough games. To see my team respond the way I think they could play it felt really good. Under these circumstances, when Lauren was here and to win a game like that for Lauren it shows Lauren how much they care.

Lauren Lenardi:

On what the game meant to her:

It really meant a lot to me because I haven’t been on the field in a really long time. To see that they all support me was really awesome. I’ve had soccer my whole life and it’s something that can take my mind of cancer and everything I’ve been going through.

On what the past 10 months have been like for her:

It’s a lot of being in the hospital, getting treatment. I get to be around a lot of other kids who have diseases like me. It’s really changed me as a person so I think that’s the best part of what comes out of everything.

On what seeing her teammates play was like:

It’s really awesome. I’ve had soccer my whole life and it’s something that can take my mind of cancer and everything I’ve been going through.

Sharon Lenardi:

On what the past 10 months have been like for her:

It’s been really difficult because her drive and her motivation on the field has always been second to none. She’s always taken a lot of pride in that and being part of a team has meant everything to her. Being with the girls is a big part of who she is and lives every day. To take that away from her, it’s been really hard to see her go through that but with the strength and support of the team the way they’ve been there for her unconditionally this past year it’s gotten her through so many hard times. It’s been everything that she’s needed.

On the daily difficulties of dealing with cancer:

It’s hard because it is a daily disease. You have to think about it as you go, sometimes on an hourly basis. You can have a plan and sometimes it can change in the next minute or next hour. [...] Keeping her positive. If you can take a lot of those little positives and get them to add up. We celebrate every 21st, [December 21] is when she was diagnosed.


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