Grace Hillis of Shoreham-Wading River takes control of the ball...

Grace Hillis of Shoreham-Wading River takes control of the ball at the sideline during the Suffolk Class A girls soccer final on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023. Credit: Dawn McCormick

 Grace Hillis and Morgan Lesiewicz have been here before, and it’s exactly where they want to be.

 Hillis and Lesiewicz, two of three returning starters from the Shoreham-Wading River girls soccer team that won a Suffolk title last year, leaned on their big-game experience in another playoff matchup on Wednesday night at Diamond in the Pines.

 Hillis scored twice in the second half, and Lesiewicz made seven saves to lead No. 2 Shoreham-Wading River in a 2-0 win over No. 1 Kings Park and back-to-back Suffolk Class A girls soccer titles.

 “It’s amazing,” Hillis said. “It’s exactly what we wanted.”

 After a scoreless first half, Hillis found the far side of the net on a free kick from about 40 yards away less than three minutes into the second half for the Wildcats (13-3-3).

 Hillis, a senior captain alongside Bella Sweet, the Wildcats’ third returning starter, said she and a few teammates stayed 30 minutes after Tuesday’s practice working on that shot.

 “I’ve been struggling all season with that shot,” Hillis said. “It just felt really good to get it right here and right now.”

  A foul in the box granted Hillis a penalty kick with 29:07 left in the game, which the Old Dominion commit placed in the top left corner of the net just past the reach of Alex Scott, who made five saves for Kings Park (14-3-1).

  Lesiewicz made six saves in the second half to preserve the shutout, including two in the final minute.

  “I think the biggest thing that crosses my mind is everyone is relying on me,” Lesiewicz said. “That’s what makes me work my hardest. Knowing that if I can get at least a touch on the ball, I’m keeping my team from getting a goal against them.”

 The Wildcats adjusted their lineup and paced the second half. Shoreham-Wading River coach Adrian Gilmore said they found a better way to attack in the final 40 minutes, and it showed.

 The Wildcats will play Nassau champion Plainedge in the Long Island Class A championship at Shoreham-Wading River High School at 11 a.m. on Saturday.

 "There were also some really young kids who played big, and played like they were seasoned players," Gilmore said. "They learned from last year what it takes to find their way back into the Long Island championship, we’re just so proud of them.”


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