Jordyn Levy and her SUSA NPL U-15 girls soccer teammates entered the season with unfinished business on their minds.
After falling in double-overtime in the 2017 US Club Soccer National Premier Leagues Finals, SUSA NPL, a Long Island team within the New York Club Soccer League, certainly finished the job this year with a 3-1 victory over Delaware FC 03 Girls in the 2018 NPL Finals on July 16 in Aurora, Colorado.
“After the heartbreaking loss in double-overtime last year in nationals, this year our biggest team goal was to win nationals,” said Levy, a forward from Dix Hills who plays for Half Hollow Hills West and was the primary scoring option for SUSA NPL.
“We worked all year for Colorado, and in that final game we knew things were going to change from last year,” Levy said. “Our determination and desire to win played a huge role in winning the title, since every member of our team gave everything they had.”
SUSA NPL finished a remarkable 5-0 in the tournament, recording 23 goals and allowing a mere four behind goalkeeper Amanda Carideo of Farmingville, who attends Sachem East. Half Hollow Hills East midfielder, Athina Sofroniou, also a Dix Hills native, spoke about the team’s chemistry and the role it played in the title run.
“Our team is very close on and off the field,” Sofroniou said. “Each game we played together. If one of us makes a mistake we pick each other up. It’s a great feeling knowing that we have each other’s back.”
Coach Moussa Sy, who previously served as an assistant coach for the men’s soccer teams at Dowling College and Suffolk Community College, said the emotional loss in the Finals last year ultimately functioned as the turning point for this season’s squad.
“As soon as we got back to Long Island they wanted to get back to it and start training right away,” said Sy, who has been the SUSA Academy Director of Coaching since 2001 and has coached this group since its U-13 days. “Throughout the winter we trained two, sometimes three times a week. They set goals from the beginning that they wanted to win the national championship.”
Sy touched on what the national title means in terms of the growth of girls soccer throughout Long Island.
“From when I started the whole thing has changed completely,” Sy said. “The landscape has changed. Now you have all professional coaches. It’s just been unbelievable. If you look at some of the top teams in the country, they’re from New York, and mainly from Long Island.”