Coming off East Islip’s biggest win of the season, Cari Roccaro seemed confident that it wouldn’t be the last game of her high school soccer career.
“Last night I was sitting in my room thinking about how upset I was going to be,” she said. “But after today, I have hope and I know the season won’t be over by the time I come back. We’re going all the way this year.”
Roccaro scored two goals, including what proved to be the game-winner, on a windy day at East Islip High School to lead the Redmen to a 5-1 win over Smithtown West in a crucial League III game. Come Friday she will be on a plane headed for Indiana, where she will spend the weekend watching the Fighting Irish at Notre Dame, her future university. Come Sunday she will be on a plane for Los Angeles, where she will attend the U-18 Women’s National Team camp until October 30.
Roccaro is forced to miss the final three games of the regular season and also the first round of the playoffs on October 29. But she has faith that, even without her, the Redmen can advance to extend their season and allow her to put on an East Islip jersey once again on November 2 for the quarterfinals.
“They just have to cover for me in the midfield for a little while,” Roccaro said of her teammates. “Anyone can step in there, our team is very deep. When I get back, we’ll see how it goes from there.”
Rebecca Carucci scored the first of her two goals to open the scoring for East Islip. Rachel Dempsey sent a feed downfield to Brianna Hernandez, who carried the ball into the box and sent a cross to Carucci, who fired into an empty net with 4:26 remaining in the first half.
Roccaro scored on a header off a corner kick by Caylan Carracino just 1:10 into the second half to put the Redmen ahead 2-0.
After Smithtown West’s Catherine Kinney scored on a penalty kick to cut the deficit to 2-1 with 25:30 remaining, Jackie Niciforo played a corner kick to Carucci, who sent a header just inside the post to retake a two-goal advantage one minute later.
Carracino later sent a low corner kick to Meaghan Faughnan, who fired into the back of the net to increase the East Islip lead to 4-1. Roccaro than added her second goal of the game off a scramble in front of the net with 1:04 remaining.
The win helped East Islip (8-1) avenge its only defeat of the season, a 1-0 loss to Smithtown West (8-1-1) on September 26, and puts them atop League III and in control of their own destiny.
“This one was for first place,” Roccaro said. “They were going to come out hard but we were going to come out harder. Of course we did, putting five in the net. Can’t ask for more than that.”