Bella and Emma Romano, a pair of freshman twin sisters, present double trouble for opponents of the Syosset girls team.
Less than four minutes into Sunday’s Nassau AA semifinals, Bella and Emma both went to set up for a corner kick. Without knowing exactly who would send the ball in, Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK had to account for both. And when Bella played the corner into the middle of the box, Kendall Halpern was there to finish for the first score as No. 5 Syosset defeated No. 8 Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK, 3-1, in a Nassau AA semifinal at Cold Spring Harbor High School.
“I just went to go attack the ball and any mistakes in the middle, we had to take advantage of,” Halpern said. “Just attack the ball and good things would happen.”
The Braves (7-6-2) advance to play No. 2 East Meadow in the Nassau AA final Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Cold Spring Harbor High School.
Bella scored the final two goals for Syosset, the first coming from her creating a play for herself and driving a ball to the bottom-right corner from 15 yards out to take a 2-0 lead with 2:56 left in the first half. She added the game’s final goal with 1:38 remaining in the contest, off a through ball from Ally Milas.
“It’s very exciting and we’re playing as a team,” Bella said. … “It’s very special because I’m bringing my team to the finals, so it’s great.”
Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK (13-2-2) played a tough second half, breaking through with a goal from Erika Roberti off an assist from Amy Lederer with 22:35 left in the game to bring the score to 2-1. Danielle Pollard had 12 saves, facing pressure in net.
The Hawks earned a playoff spot after winning the Nassau AA-II championship, and defeated defending six-time county champion Massapequa in the quarterfinals.
“We knew it was going to be a battle,” said coach Joseph Marchetta. “And we knew that with the momentum they have built up over their conference championship and their win in the quarterfinals that it was going to be a tough game.”
Eve Waldhauser had nine saves in the win, behind a backline of Kelly Batkiewicz, Camryn Miller, Sasha Chirinkin and Kaitlyn Shin.
Bella and Emma’s connection has shined throughout the season, with them often finding one another for the goal-assist combination, helping to lead Syosset to the chance to play for a championship.
“You can’t ask for anything more to have players come in and have an impact as a freshman,” Marchetta said. “And they’ve been key players all season and gotten stronger as the year went on and into the playoffs”
Syosset has never won a county title in school history, according to Newsday records dating back to 1978. But the Braves look to change that Tuesday.
“We have the talent this year and everything’s for the taking,” Halpern said. “We have opportunities, one after another, and we’re just going to go out there and fight and win it.”