Smithtown West celebrates its win during the Suffolk Class AA...

Smithtown West celebrates its win during the Suffolk Class AA girls soccer final on Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2023 East Islip High School. Credit: Bob Sorensen

Madison Demaio made every slide tackle for Smithtown West with the same speed as her shot from 25 yards had when it flew into the net.

Her goal 30 minutes into the game stood up as the winner for No. 2 Smithtown West, which beat No. 5 Half Hollow Hills West, 1-0, in the Suffolk Class AA girls soccer final on Tuesday at East Islip Middle School.

It was a game of “almosts” for Smithtown West (14-2-1), which rattled the football goalposts sitting behind the soccer goal two times in the first five minutes. 

Demaio, who was on the Smithtown West team that lost in the 2021 Suffolk 'AA' final, said that this year felt different because she is a senior. She played as if each game could be her last, which is exactly the case when the playoffs begin.

“I’ve been on [this team] since I was 14. It means everything to me,” Demaio said. “Now being a senior, I just wanted to finish it off right.”

Demaio was one of the fastest players on the field.  She intercepted numerous passes, hustling from sideline to sideline to get where her team needed her.

Smithtown West has allowed just five goals since October began, spanning eight games.

Meghan Speer had three saves for Smithtown West and Sahar Rashidzada made four for Hills West in a game where most shots sailed over the crossbar or went wide.

Kayla Pardini and Jolie Schiavo performed well for the Bulls. Both pestered Hills West’s back-line and made several threatening runs off passes from Demaio.

“We have three people on the back end who are normally forwards,” coach Emily Fey said. “They have just absolutely performed and showed up for us in a way we never even expected.”

With a deep roster, Fey made substitutions seemingly every few minutes in the second half to boast fresh legs all across the field and keep the clock running.

“This program is just so deep with the talent,” Fey said, praising the town’s youth programs. “We can thank our community, our parents, and everybody who has helped build this program to be what it is now.”

Kennedy Brown was a big reason why Smithtown West didn’t score more. The Hills West defender’s strength helped her win 50-50 challenges and keep the Colts in the game. Hills West finishes with a 10-6 record. 


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