CORTLAND, N.Y. — The Valley Stream South girls soccer team held a meeting in June and laid out the goals for the season.
Four things written on a board: Conference champions, county champions, Long Island champions, state champions.
Ambitious goals for a team that lost in the second round of the playoffs the season before, and was placed in Nassau AB-V out of six conferences in ability-based alignments. But the Falcons believed everything listed was achievable.
“We said ‘Listen, if you don’t believe we can do this, then this isn’t the place for you,’” coach Demetri Adrahtas said. “If this is not your goal and you don’t think we can achieve this, then don’t come along for the ride because this is where we are going.”
And that’s exactly where they went, as Valley Stream South capped off its undefeated season with a 1-0 victory over Jamesville-DeWitt in the Class A state championship Sunday afternoon at Cortland High School to win its first state title in school history.
“Ever since that meeting in June, we put on the board, Nassau County champs, Long Island champs, state champs, so from there, we knew that we were going to get here,” said senior defender Lindsey Smith, a five-year varsity player. “We were going to work no matter what to get here.”
But the road wasn’t easy, as the Falcons entered the postseason as the No. 18 seed. But the wins continued to pile up, leading to Sunday’s final. With the championship game scoreless after 80 minutes, Valley Stream South struck with 27 seconds left in the first overtime period, with Kayla Camacho heading in the winning goal off a corner kick from Bryana Pizarro.
“Honestly,” Pizarro said, “I put the ball down and I said ‘This is going to be the one and we’re going to win this game.’”
“I knew it was my chance to make it count,” Camacho said. “I knew this was our opportunity to make it count and that’s what I did.”
The Valley Stream South backline, featuring Smith, Nia Anjou, Hailey Roberts and Allyson Camacho with Natalie Peralta in net played a strong game, limiting the chances for Jamesville-DeWitt (22-1), in the Falcons’ 16th shutout of the season.
“I don’t think there are any words that match what just happened,” said Peralta, who made two saves in the win. “A lot of teams dream of this moment, but they don’t get it. And to achieve it is unimaginable.”
The Falcons had history on their minds from the first practice and finished the season 21-0, outscoring opponents 92-7 in the process.
“Not just this season, our whole lives have been leading up to this,” said senior midfielder Yasmin Voytelmgum. “So it’s just great to actually come out and finish this season strong and end it right.”
“We had a feeling the whole year that we were going to make history and that’s what we did,” said sophomore midfielder Mia Asenjo. “Hopefully, they’ll be telling our story in the future because we worked so hard for this.”