06/30/15 9:58pm
06/30/2015 9:58 PM
Shoreham-Wading River's Megan Kelly leaves a Port Jefferson defender in her wake as she moves the ball up the field. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)

Shoreham-Wading River’s Megan Kelly leaves a Port Jefferson defender in her wake as she moves the ball up the field. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)

It’s hard to believe for a soccer player with such good field vision, but Megan Kelly doesn’t have peripheral vision in her right eye.

During a game four years ago, while a defender cleared a ball, it pegged Kelly in the face, causing the vision loss. As bad as it was, it was close to being even worse.

“I was really lucky that it wasn’t my permanent eyesight,” she said. “It was like, I don’t even know, millimeters away from losing full vision.”

Kelly wore goggles for a while, but not any more. The loss of the peripheral vision, she said, doesn’t affect her game.

It sure doesn’t seem like it has. Last year the Shoreham-Wading River High School standout was named to the all-state team as a junior.

Kelly is a dynamic forward who can play any of the field positions. A joy to watch on the soccer field, she has the foot skill and the speed to tear opposing defenses apart.

A fine example of what Kelly can do was seen Tuesday evening when the Wildcats kicked off their Town of Brookhaven Summer League season. After collecting a pass from Sarah Stietzle, Kelly charged forward in fluid motion. Nudging the ball from one side to another and operating on instinct, she evaded Port Jefferson defenders and then slipped the ball between the legs of a final defender, Alexa Wakefield, before depositing a shot under Port Jefferson goalkeeper Brianna Scarda in the 28th minute.

Pretty slick stuff.

Asked for an assessment, Kelly conceded, “It was pretty good.”

It was the second goal in Shoreham’s 5-0 blanking of a shorthanded Port Jefferson team at the Patchogue-Medford Youth Soccer Complex in Medford.

“Her foot skill is like awesome,” Shoreham center midfielder Sam Higgins said. “She’s definitely one of the best players on the field and I really look up to her. The way that she can outrun people, it’s pretty awesome.”

It was quite a performance by Kelly, who scored twice from five shots. She might have had another goal, but Scarda did well to push one of her shots off the top of the crossbar.

The Wildcats didn’t have any trouble against Port Jefferson, which started the game with nine players, was reduced to eight for a while in the first half because of injury, and played shorthanded the entire 60-minute match.

Second-half goals were supplied by Grace Blomberg (assisted by Rachel Suarez), Sophia Triandafils (assisted by Higgins) and Alessi Rikkimarie, who landed a shot in moments after sending an attempt off the crossbar.

The Wildcats held a 21-1 shots advantage. Their goalkeeper, Lydia Kessel, didn’t touch the ball until the 49th minute when a teammate gave her a back pass. Kessel’s only other two touches were also from back passes.

At various times during the game, Kelly played center midfielder, defense or forward. It’s all good with her.

“I just always have fun when I’m on the field, no matter where I am,” she said.

Kelly, a varsity player since her freshman year, will play in college. She has committed to Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, an NCAA Division II school.

“It’s my last year of high school ball,” she said. “It’s crazy. It is hard to believe.”

The Wildcats are a young bunch. Aside from Kelly, the only other incoming seniors on the summer team’s 23-player roster are Makayla Meeker, Victoria Stirpe and Suarez.

As a senior leader, Kelly said she feels an added responsibility this year.

“The whole game is changing this year,” she said. “We’re relying on different players to make wins happen, so now we have to really stand up on the field and help the younger girls because we’re such a young team now.”

bliepa@timesreview.com

12/29/14 12:00pm
12/29/2014 12:00 PM
Shoreham goalkeeper Lydia Kessel makes a save in the first half against South Side in the Long Island Championship. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)

Shoreham goalkeeper Lydia Kessel makes a save in the first half against South Side in the Long Island Championship. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)

The signs were there before the season even began that this had the making of a special season for the Shoreham-Wading River girls soccer team. The Wildcats won the Town of Brookhaven Summer League, even without regular contributions from several top players.  (more…)

11/08/14 9:00pm
11/08/2014 9:00 PM
Shoreham-Wading River senior Emily Sopko scored the lone goal for the Wildcats in Saturday's loss to South Side. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)

Shoreham-Wading River senior Emily Sopko scored the lone goal for the Wildcats in Saturday’s loss to South Side. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)

CLASS A LONG ISLAND FINALS  |  CYCLONES 2, WILDCATS 1 (OT)

It took until a chilly night in November, in the 104th minute of a championship game, for the Shoreham-Wading River girls soccer team to feel the agony of defeat.

The Wildcats fell 2-1 to perennial champion South Side Saturday night in the Class A Long Island Championship at Dowling Sports Complex.  (more…)

11/05/14 6:29pm
11/05/2014 6:29 PM
Shoreham-Wading River sophomore Alex Kuhnle one her way toward scoring the only goal in Wednesday's Class A county championship game. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)

Shoreham-Wading River sophomore Alex Kuhnle on her way toward scoring the only goal in Wednesday’s Class A county championship game. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

CLASS A COUNTY FINALS  |  WILDCATS 1, GOLDEN FLASHES 0

It was a moment 27 years in the making.

The Shoreham-Wading River girls soccer team outlasted perennial nemesis Sayville, 1-0, in Wednesday’s Class A county finals to win the program’s first championship since 1987.  (more…)

11/05/14 4:00pm
Shoreham-Wading River sophomore Alex Kuhnle one her way toward scoring the only goal in Wednesday's Class A county championship game. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)

Shoreham-Wading River sophomore Alex Kuhnle one her way toward scoring the only goal in Wednesday’s Class A county championship game. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

CLASS A COUNTY FINALS
No. 1 Sayville (15-0-3) vs. No. 2 SWR (17-0-1)
Dowling Sports Complex

In a battle of two unbeatens, Shoreham-Wading River faces Sayville this afternoon for the Class A county title in girls soccer. The Wildcats are playing in their first county title game since 2006 when they lost to Islip. Sayville is the defending county champion. (more…)

10/31/14 6:57pm
10/31/2014 6:57 PM
Shoreham-Wading River goalkeeper Lydia Kessel is mobbed by teammates Samantha Higgins (14) and Haley Rose after Friday's win. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)

Shoreham-Wading River goalkeeper Lydia Kessel is mobbed by teammates Samantha Higgins (14) and Haley Rose after Friday’s win. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)

CLASS A SEMIFINALS  |  WILDCATS 2, TORNADOES 1

They say that the goalposts are a goalkeeper’s best friend.

But tell that to Harborfields keeper Katie Hammer, who saw not one, but two shots by second-seeded Shoreham-Wading River hit the post and find their way into the net in the Wildcats’ 2-1 win in the Suffolk County Class A girls soccer semifinal matchup Friday.  (more…)

10/28/14 5:49pm
10/28/2014 5:49 PM
Shoreham-Wading River senior Emily Blunnie heads the ball in Tuesday's playoff win over Comsewogue. Blunnie scored once in the win. (Credit: Joe Werkmeister)

Shoreham-Wading River senior Emily Blunnie heads the ball in Tuesday’s playoff win over Comsewogue. Blunnie scored once in the win. (Credit: Joe Werkmeister)

CLASS A QUARTERFINALS  |  WILDCATS 2, WARRIORS 0

The ball had barely crossed the goal line before Emily Blunnie screamed out loud: “Yesss!”

The Shoreham-Wading River senior, positioned perfectly in front of the goal, knocked in a pass by Megan Kelly from her left to break a scoreless tie in the 56th minute Tuesday afternoon against Comsewogue in the Class A quarterfinals. (more…)