Ward Melville's Breena Harrigan (12) scores in the first half...

Ward Melville's Breena Harrigan (12) scores in the first half during the Suffolk Class AAA finals between Smithtown East and Ward Melville on Tuesday, Oct 31, 2023. Credit: Bob Sorensen

The Ward Melville girls soccer team knew the goals would come. The wins seem to follow.

No. 1 Ward Melville, the defending Class AA state champion, won the inaugural Suffolk Class AAA girls soccer title in a 3-0 win over No. 6 Smithtown East at East Islip's Sal Ciampi Field on Tuesday night.

Breena Harrigan scored twice, and Samantha Ruffini scored 32 seconds into the second half for the Patriots (16-0-3), who haven’t lost in 39 consecutive games, dating to 2021.

“We’re very excited,” Harrigan said. “The pressure of wanting to do better than last time, we wanted it a lot. We’ve been working hard for this the whole season.”

Harrigan scored the opener with 19:36 left in the first half off an assist from Maddie Costello. Costello delivered a pass inside to Harrigan, who slipped a shot into the bottom right corner of the net.

After earning six corner kicks and holding Smithtown East (12-4-2) to none in the first half, Ward Melville led only 1-0 at halftime.

"We knew we had a lot of chances in the first half," Ward Melville coach John Diehl said. "I told the girls, 'It's coming. It's going to happen.'"

Just after halftime, Adriana Victoriano played the ball from the left side into the middle. The pass found its way to Ruffini, who drove the ball into the bottom left corner.

“We wanted to start the half off really strong, get out there and set the tone,” Ruffini said. “At that kind of moment, I knew I couldn’t take a touch, and I had to hit it the first time. I was ready to take the shot.”

A Smithtown East handball granted Harrigan a penalty kick with 21:26 left in the game, which she converted into the bottom right corner of the net.

Madison Kelly made nine saves for Smithtown East, which beat No. 3 Sachem East in the quarterfinals and No. 2 Commack in the semifinals to reach the championship.

Ward Melville will play Massapequa for the Long Island Class AAA championship at Shoreham-Wading River High School at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday.


Unlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months