Smithtown West girls soccer celebrates its first goal against Columbia...

Smithtown West girls soccer celebrates its first goal against Columbia on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023.  Credit: Heather Ainsworth/Heather Ainsworth

CORTLAND, N.Y. -- The Smithtown West girls soccer team is one win away from accomplishing something no other squad has in program history. Capturing a state title.

Smithtown West defeated Columbia, 4-1, in the girls soccer state Class AA semifinals at Tompkins Cortland Community College on Saturday afternoon to advance to its first state championship game in program history.

“We’re trying to make history,” said senior midfielder Sophia Campites. “All of us are on the same wave of energy, we came here with the same excitement. We didn’t think this was going to go any other way.”

Campites scored two goals for Smithtown West (16-2-1), which advanced to play Spencerport (22-0) in the state Class AA final at Tompkins Cortland Community College on Sunday at 10 a.m.

“Before preseason, all we were thinking about were these two days,” Campites said. “We kept telling ourselves that our last game is November 12.”

Campites has been integral on defense and transition all season long. Yet, Saturday resulted in her first and second goals of the season. Campites opened the scoring by finishing a corner kick in the air from Laina Friedmann 12 minutes into the contest. She later scored on a 35-yard free kick to give the Bulls a 3-1 lead with 20:47 left in the contest.

“She has stepped up huge for us in different ways on the defensive end, but for her to make her presence known in this way on the field, she’s just so deserving,” coach Emily Fey said. “All of the hard work she puts in every day, this is her time for sure.”

Campites said scoring wasn’t necessarily on her mind entering the game. She just wanted to make plays for her team.

“I just came out thinking this has to be a good game no matter what,” Campites said. “Whether it’s on the defensive or offensive ends, we all had to have our best games today so that was my mindset. It wasn’t personal, it was a team we all had to play our best games today.”

After Columbia (10-1-2) scored with 3:36 left in the first half, the Bulls could have found themselves on the wrong end of the game’s momentum. Kayla Pardini quickly reversed that after intercepting a pass, taking a quick dribble before striking from 25 yards with her left foot to the top-left corner of the net to break the tie at 1 seven minutes into the second half.

“It was kind of tough ending the half tied but we knew we could get it back,” Pardini said. “I saw the ball in front of me, I didn’t have time to take another touch, so I just knew I had to hit it. Once I struck it, I had a lot of confidence.”

Amanda Tragna scored the final goal following a rebound from Jolie Schiavo's shot with 11:22 left in the game.

“To come out and make a statement today was what we were looking to do,” Pardini said. “We came in with the mindset there was no way we were losing this game. There was just absolutely no way.”

But the Bulls aren’t done. They aren’t satisfied by just making their first state final in program history.

“We’re ready to go for (Sunday),” Fey said. “The first thing they said when they came off the field was, ‘Job’s not finished.’ So we’re ready.”


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