Kaylie Conklin of Seaford (8) celebrates her third goal of...

Kaylie Conklin of Seaford (8) celebrates her third goal of the Nassau Class A girls soccer semifinal between Seaford and Wantagh on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2023. Credit: Neil Miller

Kaylie Conklin figured there was no better play than to launch a shot from 30 yards out.

Her instincts proved to be right.

The Seaford striker's shot drifted just over the outstretched hands of Isabella Astaiza to give the Vikings an early two-goal lead in their 3-1 victory over No. 1 Wantagh in the Nassau girls soccer Class A semifinals at Cold Spring Harbor High School on Saturday.

“Well, I didn’t see any other opportunities near me and I saw that I had space to take the shot,” Conklin said. “So I knew I had to put it on target because I didn’t know how many of those chances I was going to get. They’re a good team.”

Conklin scored three goals, including two in the first half for Seaford (8-3-4). The sophomore tapped in a cross from Meghan Stovall after the ball slipped past Astaiza to give Seaford a 1-0 lead with 29:55 remaining in the first half. Her long-ranged, arching shot came just 26 seconds later to put Seaford up 2-0.

“She’s a dangerous holding striker,” Seaford coach Ken Botti said. “She’s got great size and we know she’s trouble in front of goal.”

Wantagh (7-3-4) answered about eight minutes later when Juliana Cerasi, who was instrumental in Wantagh’s midfield play, sent a through ball to Ava Barberio for a goal with 21:16 remaining in the first half.

The Vikings were awarded a penalty kick a few minutes later, but the shot went wide and took 2-1 lead into halftime.

“You got to keep pouring it on,” Botti said of his halftime speech. “You got to continue staying on the gas. There’s no let down. You can’t give Wantagh a second. They have too much talent over there. They got some kids with really strong feet that can put balls into the goal from really anywhere.”

Conklin’s third goal came with 29:48 remaining in the second half. Cameron Calderaro had the assist on the goal as Conklin secured her first career hat trick and 12th goal of the season.

The Vikings switched from their typical 4-4-2 formation to a 4-5-1 in the second half and were able to preserve their lead.

Seaford will play No. 3 Plainedge (12-2-3) in the Nassau Class A finals on Oct. 31 at 5 p.m. at Cold Spring Harbor.


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