09/28/13 11:03pm
09/28/2013 11:03 PM

BILL LANDON PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River junior Courtney Clasen scored three goals Saturday night in the Wildcats’ 5-0 win over East Hampton.

WILDCATS 5, BONACKERS 0

Courtney Clasen is listed on the Shoreham-Wading River girls soccer roster as a midfielder and goalkeeper, but don’t look for her to tend goal any time soon.

Not after Saturday night’s performance in which she made life miserable for East Hampton keeper Francesca Schelfhat and her teammates.

Clasen struck for a hat trick in the Wildcats’ 5-0 triumph in the League VI match, heading home two goals. Just as importantly, she pulled the attacking strings of the Wildcats (3-2 League VI, 4-2) in Shoreham.

The junior All-County midfielder had many spectators and coaches uttering superlatives about her magnificent performance.

A sampling:

“She’s an unbelievable player,” said Shoreham boys coach Andrew Moschetti, whose team played in the second game of a rare soccer doubleheader on the school’s football field on Senior Pride Weekend. “Every coach would love to have a player like her on the team. Coach [Adrian] Gilmore and the girls are lucky to have her.”

Gilmore added: ”She’s my key player. Everything comes from the middle from her goes to the outside and back through the middle. At times she’s taking on two, three defenders and comes out with the ball. She’s just a tremendous athlete. It’s so nice to watch her play.”

But perhaps not so nice if you are the opposing coach, although East Hampton coach Mike Vitulli, whose team fell to 0-6 in league, praised Clasen.

“They are very dangerous in the air,” he said. “Any free kick is a problem. Clasen, she’s just unbelievable in the air. She just comes out of nowhere.”

About the only person who wasn’t impressed was Clasen herself.

“It was all right,” she said. “My passes were a little off.”

Maybe, maybe not.

But one thing was quite certain — she was spot on when shooting at the goal, whether it was with her feet or head.

By the time Clasen had scored the Wildcats already had a 2-0 lead. Emily Blunnie put in an Emily Sopko feed from 25 yards with 27:39 remaining in the first half before defender Shannon Lamprecht knocked the ball into her own net with 25:14 left. She increased the lead to 3-0 off a left-wing cross from Alex Kunhle with 8:46 remaining in the half.

Clasen was devastating on air balls. She is 5-7, but she jumps like a player who is several inches taller.

“We had a real hard covering her every which way,” Vitulli said. “She gets up over the ball and she’s real weapon for them.”

Clasen said that she likes to go sky high. “It’s one of my favorite things to do,” she said. “I just get up in the air and use my height and knock it in.”

We’ll never know how Clasen the goalkeeper would fare against Clasen the midfielder. Shoreham goalkeeper Kelly Wynkoop gave Gilmore and the rest of the Wildcats a scare when a Bonacker player kicked her in the knee with 35:13 remaining in the match. Wynkoop was OK, but had she not been able to play, Clasen would have had to come on.

“I was very concerned, with Kelly being such a great force in the back to lose her,” Gilmore said. “It’s detrimental to the team. And to take Courtney off the field and have to put her in goal, you’re taking two of your key players, best players on the team and shaking it up. And that’s never what you want to do in a game.”

A little more than two minutes later, Calsen scored again, heading in a 35-yard free kick from Blunnie with 33:54 left. She made it a natural hat trick, scoring from point-blank range with 31:21 remaining. Clasen never got an opportunity for another goal because Gilmore sat her down for the remainder of the contest.

Gilmore hoped that she never will have an opportunity to use Clasen in the nets, even if she has stood out in the position for her club team, Sound Beach Stingrays United.

“No, I would never put her in goal,” Gilmore said.  “But the best thing about her if you saw her in goal, she’s equally as good as good in the goal. If she was a different kid and on a different team, she would be the goalie. She is a tremendous goalie.”

And for one night, a hat trick hero.

09/24/13 5:05pm
09/24/2013 5:05 PM

BILL LANDON FILE PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River receiver Isreal Squires makes a leaping grab in the Wildcats’ home night game last year against Port Jefferson.

The lights will be shining on Shoreham-Wading River all weekend.

After hosting its first evening football game in 10 years last year, powered by portable lights, Shoreham upped the ante this year by scheduling a weekend worth of games under the lights.

This weekend has been dubbed “Senior pride weekend,” not to be confused with the school’s typical homecoming festivities, which are scheduled for Oct. 19.

The weekend kicks off Friday with a 6 p.m. football game against The Stony Brook School. Saturday will feature a soccer doubleheader, beginning with the girls team facing East Hampton at 5:30 p.m. The boys will then play Amityville at 7:30 p.m.

The field at Shoreham has received a recent face-lift, thanks in large part to a grassroots effort from a group of parents who started a three-phase “Field of Dreams” renovation project. A new press box is in place this fall, part of the first phase of the renovation. Other cosmetic improvements have been new banners and an updated scoreboard. A new track was also built over the summer, funded from a $1.6 million track and technology proposition.

“We’re trying to build pride in the community,” said Shoreham parent Jeff McAuley, whose son Zach plays on both the soccer and football teams. “All the football parents are cooking for the soccer parents. All the soccer parents are cooking for the football parents. We have a huge raffle that all the kids have been participating in.”

The hope, he said, is to turn this into an annual event.

A goal in the renovation project is to put in permanent lights at Shoreham.

For more information, contact Jeff McAuley at 631-807-3663.

joew@timesreview.com

09/23/13 7:20pm
09/23/2013 7:20 PM
GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Meagan Brunner of Riverhead dribbling into space during Tuesday's match against Centereach.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Meagan Brunner of Riverhead dribbling into space during Tuesday’s match against Centereach.

COUGARS 5, BLUE WAVES 0

Carolyn Carrera is well aware that there are pluses to go with the obvious minuses of playing goalkeeper for a soccer team that is more likely to be the underdog than the favorite in its matches this season. For one thing, she knows she will see plenty of shots come her way, and she’s absolutely fine with that.

“I love the action,” she said.

In that sense, Carrera will not be disappointed. Riverhead’s senior captain and five-year starter has already faced a lot of shots.

Another plus is that Carrera can look at this season — and the strong teams the Blue Waves are facing in Suffolk County League III — as good preparation for when she plays for Hofstra University next year. The more shots she faces, the more experience she gets, the better she gets.

That’s one way to look at it.

Along with the decisiveness and focus that makes her a fine goalie, Carrera also has the drive to improve in what may be soccer’s most  complicated position. “Every single aspect I can always use improvement, just being quicker on my feet, quicker for the second shot, better kicks, better punts, just everything,” she said.

She said she loves the training, as well as the continual learning, the aggression and the adrenaline that comes with it all.

Riverhead’s former coach, Maria Dounelis, who brought Carrera onto the team as an eighth-grader, said she is the best goalkeeper in the team’s 11-year history.

The current Riverhead coach, Hassan Olowu, said, “She’s awesome.”

Centereach coach Andrew Nardi was tipped off before Monday’s league game in Riverhead that his team would be facing a talented goalkeeper. “I heard from other teams that their goalie is legit, and she proved it today,” he said.

Yet, not even Carrera was able to prevent a sharp-shooting Centereach team from striking for a 5-0 shutout. Nikki Ortega, a junior forward, was involved in four of those goals, scoring two and assisting on two. Monica Festa scored twice and Jessica Kraljic added a goal and an assist for the Cougars (5-3, 2-2).

Carrera really didn’t have much of a chance at stopping any of them.

“Those shots to the corner post were very tough to save, almost impossible to save,” said Nardi.

The first goal came 13 minutes into the match when a corner kick by Kraljic bounced in the penalty area and Ortega blasted it into the net.

“Amazing force and amazing accuracy,” Nardi said. “She can hit it.”

The next three goals came within 2:36 of each other late in the first half. Festa beat Carrera to her left, Kraljic connected on a booming blast over Carrera, and Festa, assisted by Alyssa Tatti, drilled a shot inside the far right post.

Ortega netted the fifth goal after a lead pass from Ryan Schubert in the 69th minute.

Centereach, which won only one game last year, has seen a dramatic turnaround. The Cougars have clearly solved their finishing problem of a year ago. They outshot the Blue Waves (1-3, 0-3) by 21-3 and enjoyed a 10-0 advantage in corner kicks.

Goalkeepers Analee Buscavino and Stephanie Maikisch needed to make only 1 save between them for the shared shutout.

Carrera showed her quality in the second half with a nice reflex save of a first-timer by Alexa Rudillosso. It was one of 4 saves by Carrera, who also knocked away two crosses, had 17 clearances and collected nine loose balls in her penalty area.

Monday’s game served as a reminder to Riverhead that League III is a world away from the developmental league it played in last year.

“I think we’re definitely the underdog when we’re put in a situation like this,” senior midfielder Emily Jehle said, “but you can’t underestimate us because we still got really good players on this team and, more than that, we have heart.”

Olowu said his players take steps forward with every game. “The tough thing is these losses don’t make it easy, but they never tell the whole story,” he said. “They don’t show the individual improvements of the player.”

Carrera’s improvement continues. A season-ending knee injury to the team’s only other goalie, Robyn Schneider, means that Carrera will see plenty of action the rest of the season.

“She does not stop,” Olowu said. “She competes no matter what the score is. She will make that really amazing save after letting in a couple of goals, and that’s character. You can’t buy that.”

Olowu said returning to the developmental league next year is an option to explore. Of course, by then, Carrera will have moved on and the Blue Waves will have a new player in goal.

“I am proud to say that I got to coach her,” Olowu said. “I’m going to miss her. She knows it.”

bliepa@timesreview.com

09/16/13 7:59pm
09/16/2013 7:59 PM

MONARCHS 3, WHALERS 1

It didn’t take long for the McGann-Mercy girls soccer team to match its win total from a year ago.

After Monday’s 3-1 win over visiting Pierson/Bridgehampton, the Monarchs improved to 2-0 in what has the potential to be a promising season for a young team.

“I’m confident this year,” said second-year head coach Meaghan Macarthur. “I don’t know what the other teams are going to bring, but I know what we can bring.”

And that’s a team of mostly young players who are quickly developing chemistry on the field. After a non-league win over Amityville to open the season, the Monarchs already made big strides in their play in Monday’s League VII opener against the Whalers.

Two freshmen provided goals for Mercy against the Whalers. Siobhan Merrill put the Monarchs ahead 2-1 in the 65th minute on a beautiful play that started with Claire Sullivan in the middle. A junior midfielder, Sullivan fed a pass to junior Meghan Bossone, who deftly touched it over to Merrill who one-timed it into the goal.

“Get it and go,” Bossone said. “Didn’t really have time to think.”

Bossone and Sullivan are part of a limited group of upperclassmen who are getting playing time for the Monarchs. A large portion of the starting lineup consists of sophomores and freshmen.

But Bossone and Sullivan, who are both three-year varsity players, have plenty of chemistry together that paid off Monday.

“Her and I work very well together,” Bossone said.

As a forward, Bossone was in on a number of scoring chances and she delivered a goal of her own three minutes after Merrill’s goal to ice the game. She drilled a quick shot inside the left post. Bossone said she thought it was headed wide, but the shot was right on target.

“She’s got a strong foot,” Macarthur said. “But she also works well with her midfielders and whoever her partner is up front. They communicate not only verbally, but non-verbally.”

The Monarchs are also expecting big things from the freshman duo of Merrill and Tori Barlow. They both scored their first varsity goals Monday.

“I have high hopes for them coming in as freshmen,” Macarthur said. “They’re potential and skill already is more than a varsity coach could hope for in a freshman.”

Merrill and Barlow played together in junior high where they honed some of their skills together that they can now display on varsity for the next four years.

“You only expect them to get stronger as the years go,” Macarthur said.

Barlow scored in the first half to give the Monarchs a 1-0 lead. Pierson tied the game early in the second half on a free kick. The ball lofted in directly at goalkeeper Julianna Cintron-Leonardo, but as she reached down to grab the ball, it slipped through her grasp and squirted past her for a goal.

It was a rare miscue for Cintron-Leonardo, a sophomore who’s already a varsity veteran.

“It happens and you got to bounce back from it,” Macarthur said.

The Monarchs had a few chances to expand their lead in the first half. Merrill sent a crossing pass from the right side to junior Katrina Thompson for a one-timer that was stopped by the outstretched arms of Pierson goalkeeper Hayley Lund.

The Monarchs have a larger than usual roster this year after deciding to not field a junior varsity team. Macarthur said rather than fielding two small teams, where any injuries would make it difficult to have a full roster, they opted to go with one team.

“We thought it would be more beneficial to have a full team playing competitive against each other in practice rather than  a small team,” she said.

So far, the chemistry is there.

“We got really close really quick,” Bossone said. “And we work well together.”

joew@timesreview.com

09/06/13 5:00pm
09/06/2013 5:00 PM

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Riverhead senior Carolyn Carrera will anchor the Blue Waves’ defense this season as goalkeeper.

A program still trying to gain traction in the competitive landscape of Suffolk County girls soccer, the Riverhead Blue Waves opted to join the developmental league last year.

That meant no shot at the playoffs, but it also meant a few more wins and competitive games. The developmental league, which featured schools from across the county that would have struggled in their respective leagues, was originally thought to be a two-year commitment for Riverhead.

But the Blue Waves will find themselves back in League III this year, against teams like Smithtown East, Half Hollow Hills West and West Islip. Placement for schools is done on a year-by-year basis, according to Section XI assistant director Donald Webster. The schools must request to join a league such as the developmental league, Webster said.

Riverhead coach Hassan Olowu said he found out the team would be out of the developmental league, which still exists, during the summer. Olowu said they plan to take another look at the developmental league after this season.

“We’re trying to keep our development going,” he said. “But we do use this as a measuring stick to see where we are as a team. A couple of the girls are going to be here for a couple of years. We’re going to see where we are as a group and then reevaluate at the end of the season.”

The developmental league this year features Amityville, Central Islip, William Floyd, Southampton, Hampton Bays and Copiague.

Olowu, who’s entering his third year as varsity coach, said the team is looking forward to the opportunity to take on greater competition.

“We are looking to start the league with a blast,” he said. “We’re going to be very forceful and we’re going at every team.”

The Blue Waves will rely on the veteran experience of goalkeeper Carolyn Carrera to anchor their defense. A Hofstra University recruit for both soccer and lacrosse, Carrera will serve as team captain this year.

“She gives the team a quiet kind of confidence,” Olowu said.

The Blue Waves will get a boost this fall with the return of junior Katie McKillop, who had her entire year wiped out last year while she recovered from an injury. McKillop can play anywhere on the field and will see time up front and in the midfield.

Sophomore Aleah Gonzalez will be relied on to provide some of the offense for the Blue Waves, who lost their leading scorer to graduation.

Senior Emily Jehle returns at center midfield. Sophomore Kelly Garcia will play in both the midfield and on defense and sophomore Keily Molina will play in the midfield.

The Blue Waves open the non-league season Sept. 11 against Rocky Point. The league season begins Sept. 12 at home against Newfield.

“We have a few tough games but I’m quite sure the girls can handle it,” Olowu said. “They’re a tough bunch.”

DANIEL DE MATO PHOTO  |  Shoreham-Wading River freshman Alex Kuhnle takes a shot in the first half of Tuesday's summer league game against Sayville.

DANIEL DE MATO PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River freshman Alex Kuhnle takes a shot in a summer league game against Sayville in July.

It had been a long time since the Shoreham-Wading River Wildcats underwent a true rebuilding year. Before last season, the Wildcats had strung together a consistent run of playoff appearances.

That streak came to an end when the Wildcats finished one point shy of a playoff spot last season in a year where most of the team’s losses were by one goal.

“I think losing such key players the year before, they didn’t have the confidence they have now,” said Shoreham coach Adrian Gilmore.

After a busy offseason and a successful summer league, the Wildcats return the core of last year’s team with more experience and the confidence to take the next step back to becoming a playoff team.

To make that happen requires an obvious solution: score more goals. Executing that is the tricker part.

“This offseason we really worked on shooting and playing in and around the 18,” Gilmore said. “Just having that confidence to take more shots.”

The Wildcats have plenty of talent spread across the field. Junior Courtney Clasen has been a key player the past two years and will be relied upon in the midfield and as a goal scorer.

Sophomore Meghan Kelly can provide goal scoring for Shoreham. Kelly had an impressive season last year as a ninth-grader on varsity and put in double-digit goals during the summer league.

Freshman Alex Kuhnle should help increase scoring chances. Kuhnle played on the varsity summer league team and quickly made an impression.

She showed off a strong left foot and a tremendous ability to place the ball where she wants it.

“She has great ball skills and I’m excited to see her play with the full team,” Gilmore said.

Kuhnle will be a key player on both ends of the field for Shoreham.

On defense, the Wildcats return senior Kate Birkmire at sweeper. Senior Logan Hoffman, who played mostly in the midfield last year, will switch to stopper on defense this year.

“She’s kind of my voice on the field,” Gilmore said.

In the net, the Wildcats return senior Kelly Wynkoop, a varsity starter since her freshman season.

The Wildcats have a smaller roster this year than in the past, with 19 girls on varsity and 16 on JV. Gilmore said the future still looks bright, though, with a big group of athletes currently in eighth grade. At Shoreham, eighth-graders can’t move up to JV, only to varsity if they’re deemed capable of playing at that level.

In League VI this year the Wildcats will face the typically strong competition like Miller Place and Bayport-Blue Point.

Shoreham will play two scrimmages before the season begins Sept. 11 with a non-league game Eastport-South Manor. The league season kicks off Sept. 16 against John Glenn.

joew@timesreview.com

07/31/13 1:49am
07/31/2013 1:49 AM
ROBERT O'ROURK PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River's Kerri Clark was involved in the give-and-go that led to Emily Sopko's goal.

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River’s Kerri Clark was involved in the give-and-go that led to Emily Sopko’s goal.

The Shoreham-Wading River High School girls soccer coach, Adrian Gilmore, enjoyed a rare luxury in her team’s game against Miller Place  on Tuesday night. She was able to deploy a full starting 11 in the Town of Brookhaven Summer League playoff match at Diamond in the Pines in Coram.

Despite the opposition having three substitutes and the Wildcats none, Shoreham managed to secure a 1-0 victory, handing Miller Place (8-1-1) its first defeat of the summer and move into the quarterfinals.

For their previous game, a 2-0 victory over Port Jefferson, the Wildcats used only eight players.

“We always have no subs or play down a player,” midfielder Courtney Clasen said. “We play through it.”

The Wildcats (5-5) will play Sayville (9-1) at The Wedge in Mount Sinai on Thursday evening. Sayville, which recorded a 1-0 playoff win over Port Jefferson on Tuesday, defeated Shoreham during the regular season, 1-0.

“It’s going to be a tough game,” said Emily Sopko, who scored the lone goal in the win over Miller Place.

Gilmore agreed, saying Sayville was “a tough competitor. I didn’t have my goalie and we lost on a penalty kick. We’ll see what Thursday brings. I’m excited.”

“Again, I don’t remember having that many subs standing next to us,” Gilmore said, laughing.

ROBERT O'ROURK PHOTO | Theresa Bender of Shoreham-Wading River making a pass during her team's 1-0 playoff win over Miller Place.

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Theresa Bender of Shoreham-Wading River making a pass during her team’s 1-0 playoff win over Miller Place.

That has been a theme this summer for the Wildcats. Since the Brookhaven League does not demand mandatory attendance and players go on vacation and have summer jobs and other commitments, it’s not unusual for teams to field shorthanded teams.

Shoreham had to forfeit one game at Sachem because only six girls showed up.

“We had to drive all the way to Sachem,” goalkeeper Kelly Wynkoop said. “It was pouring rain. There was only six of us huddled under an umbrella. It’s always we don’t have enough girls. We have the talent, it’s just people have other things going on and they can’t show up.”

When Tuesday’s game kicked off, Shoreham had all of its players in the starting lineup. Miller Place had three players on the bench and its coach substituted freely.

Because there were no substitutes available, every Shoreham player knew she would have to go the full 60 minutes in the game of two 30-minute halves. In fact, the Wildcats were forced to go down to 10 players early in the second half when Taylor Chaimowitz was taken out for six minutes after sustaining an ankle injury.

“I just play until I know it’s over,” said Clasen, a three-sport star who also competes in basketball and track. “I don’t really think about it. I just play. If I’m dying, I just think, ‘Well if we win this we go on.’ ”

Added Sopko: “We just think about winning the game and moving forward in the season. We think about the season coming up. We just hope that we’re this good.”

Shoreham was missing three starters who were on vacation — sweeper Kate Birkmire, striker Megan Kelly, who has been tied as the league’s leading goal scorer, and incoming freshman Alexandra Kuhnie.

But the Wildcats came through. Wynkoop grabbed everything that was shot or sent her way. Clasen set the pace in the midfield and Sopko tallied midway through the opening half.

“They do a great job of possessing the ball, playing to feet and I think a difference tonight, just playing smart,” Gilmore said.

Sopko broke the deadlock with 14 minutes 9 seconds remaining in the first half as she scored inside the penalty area on a give-and-go with Kerri Clark.

Sopko admitted she did not remember much about her goal. “When I shoot and score, I don’t really think about it,” she said. “I just worry about getting the ball into the back of the net.”

Last season the Wildcats struggled at times, dropping several games by a goal. But given a promising talent pool and the encouraging summer results, Gilmore was optimistic for the fall as she walked off the artificial turf field on a beautiful summer night.

“It’s a good indicator of how they look for the fall and our JV team is in first place for summer league also, so that just speaks for the talent that’s coming up throughout the program,” she said.

07/23/13 9:58pm
07/23/2013 9:58 PM

DANIEL DE MATO PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River freshman Alex Kuhnle takes a shot in the first half of Tuesday’s summer league game against Sayville.

The Shoreham-Wading River girls soccer team was never overpowered last year, even in a rare down year that ended without a trip to the postseason. Only once did the Wildcats lose a game by more than one goal.

The problem, generally, tended to be scoring.

“I think they thought because they lost all those seniors, Kari [Quinn] and Shannon [McDonnell], I think they thought they weren’t going to be as good as they really were,” said Shoreham coach Adrian Gilmore.

A year older and wiser, and having lost only two regular contributors from last year’s team, the Wildcats are poised to take a step forward going into the fall season.

Judging by their performance in the Town of Brookhaven Summer League, the Wildcats believe they can create more offense this year.

One reason for optimism is the return of sophomore Meghan Kelly, who tallied 10 goals in the summer to tie for the league lead.

Another has been the emergence of freshman Alex Kuhnle, who has quickly made an impression on Gilmore.

Kuhnle easily stood out Tuesday against Sayville playing left halfback in a shortened game that was twice-delayed by weather. Sayville won 1-0 on a second-half penalty kick at Patchogue-Medford Youth Complex.

Gilmore said she had heard of Kuhnle and knew she was a talented player, but hadn’t seen her in action until the summer league. A skilled lefty, Kuhnle plays on a number of different soccer teams throughout the year.

“She’s very unselfish,” Gilmore said. “There have been times where I thought maybe she should have shot the ball and she passed it.”

Kelly and Kuhnle represent a young core for the Wildcats to build around for the next few seasons.

“I’m excited to see the combination of her and Meghan up front,” Gilmore said.

Kuhnle had the best scoring chance for Shoreham against Sayville when her shot off a rebound was stopped by a diving goalkeeper. It set up Shoreham’s lone corner kick.

The Wildcats (4-5) haven’t had as many players on the varsity summer team as in years past, which led to two of their losses being forfeits. As tends to be the case in summer league, each game is often a mishmash of different players.

Midfielder Courtney Clasen played in goal Tuesday in the absence of senior Kelly Wynkoop, who was away on a college function.

Clasen will be another key player in the midfield during the regular season, and one player who Gilmore hopes can provide a few more goals.

“She’s outstanding,” Gilmore said. “She’s started and played every game since she’s been in ninth grade. She shoots that ball and I think it will all come together very nicely.”

With most of last year’s team returning, Gilmore said she doesn’t plan on keeping a very large varsity roster in the fall, which will make for some intense competition in tryouts.

In the summer league, Shoreham’s junior varsity team has 29 players, Gilmore said. Most are going into either eighth or ninth grade, Gilmore said.

“It looks like we’re going to have a couple good years of some good athletes coming up,” Gilmore said.

joew@timesreview.com

06/11/13 7:00pm
06/11/2013 7:00 PM

RIVERHEAD COURTESY PHOTO | Riverhead senior Ashley Drozd, accompanied by her parents Mike and Lisa Drozd, signed to play soccer at Saint Peter’s University, a Division I college. High school principal David Wicks, varsity coach Hassan Oiawu, Ashley’s 8th grade soccer coach Maria Dounelis and guidance counselor Chris Martin joined her for a signing ceremony.

As a five-year varsity player, Ashley Drozd left behind a lasting legacy on the Riverhead girls soccer program. A team MVP as a junior and senior, Drozd set multiple school records during her career, including career goals with 43.

After a stellar career with the Blue Waves, Drozd will continue playing soccer beginning next fall at Saint Peter’s University. Drozd signed a letter of intent last week to continue her soccer career at the Division I school in Jersey City, N.J.

Drozd, who is in the top 11 percent of her graduating class, will receive partial scholarships for academics as well as athletics. She plans to major in biology with an eye toward becoming a physical therapist.

Drozd leaves Riverhead with the record for most goals in a game (5) as well as most goals in a season (23). She was an all-conference and two-time all-league player for the Blue Waves.