Girls soccer kicks it into high gear for playoffs

Charlie Mark and David Gold, Contributing Writers

The Vikings girls’ soccer team has just completed yet another season.  Led by captains Rebecca Charno, Emily Edwards, and Erin Steinke, as well as Coach Lauren Brossard, the Vikings achieved resounding success.  

Coming into the season, the girls did not know what to expect, in large part due to the departure of numerous seniors.  However, this doubt would soon disappear, as the girls quickly proved they were one of the top contenders on Long Island, especially in the second half of the season.  

“The team really worked together well this season, and it paid off in our results.  Although it ended earlier than we would have liked, we were competitive for the conference title and are looking forward to great things ahead.  We will miss all our seniors, as they contributed so much to the team, but we hope to carry on their legacy,” said junior Shayne Bersin.  

The season started with tough, yet close, losses against Manhasset and Baldwin.  Rather than serving as discouragement. However, these losses motivated the Vikings to work harder and persevere.  A 5-0 loss to Oceanside in their fifth game would be the last time the Vikings lost in the regular season.

After having a record of 1-1-3 through their first five games, the team finished the season by winning seven of their last eight regular season games, and the only game they didn’t win during this stretch was still a draw.  This unbeaten streak included blowout wins against Freeport and Westbury, as well as a four game shutout streak.  

This eight game unbeaten streak began with a 3-0 away victory against Hicksville fueled by two goals from Sally Hirshwerk, and was followed by another 3-0 win three days later, this time on the road against Uniondale.

After five straight games on the road, the girls would return home to face Westbury; a game that ended in a 7-0 blowout in favor of the Vikings that saw six different players score.  The next day they would head out to Hempstead to play their final away game of the regular season where they picked up another important conference win in a match that ended with another 3-0 scoreline.

The Vikings would finish the season with a four game home-stand, starting with a game against Freeport.  In this game, the team conceded for the first time in nearly three weeks (ending a streak of four straight clean sheets), yet were still able to come up with a 3-2 victory.  The five game winning streak would end against Oceanside with a 2-2 draw, however, the unbeaten streak was still very much alive, with the team finishing their sixth game in a row without a loss.

The team would rebound against Hicksville on Senior Day with a 1-0 victory that saw senior Emily Edwards score the winner with minutes remaining.  Next, the Vikings won their second match against Uniondale by a resounding score of 6-0, where every goal was scored by a different player.  In their last game of the season, the team won again, this time against Westbury 4-0.  

“We had a great season, and we always worked together.  Next season will be bigger and better, as for the first time ever, we will be training throughout the year,” said senior Kate Shanahan.

In the end, the team achieved an overall regular season record of 8-4-2, and a conference record of 8-1-1.  With this, the Vikings were given the 8th seed in the playoffs.

Despite their regular season success, the team lost in the Quarterfinals to Syosset.  However, the Vikings could not be more proud of all that they accomplished.  

“This season I have been recovering from a torn ACL.  I have been the manager this year, but I can’t wait to get back on the field for next season.  We have very high expectations for the team next season, and I can’t wait to see where the season takes us,” said junior Allie Salzman.  

Through hard work and a never give up attitude, the Vikings achieved tremendous success.  If this year’s success is indicative of the team’s future, the Vikings should expect continued success.