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Top Sports Stories 2018: What a ride for SWR soccer

It would be safe to say that the Shoreham-Wading River High School girls soccer team had its fill of Islip in 2018. Both games the Wildcats played against Islip ended in 1-0 wins for the Buccaneers.

One of those games just happened to be the Suffolk County Class A final.

Despite enjoying better possession and holding a 12-3 advantage in shots, SWR lost in the county final. Islip scored on its first shot 27 minutes and 15 seconds into the match. Following a corner kick, an unmarked Dominique Bono powered a shot past goalkeeper Alison Devall. That was all Islip needed to be awarded its 12th county championship and first since 2015.

Meanwhile, Islip’s pugnacious defense did its job. For all the possession SWR enjoyed, Islip’s flat-back four, led by Hailey Franco, made sure that goalkeeper Kelsey Scheidel (four saves) wasn’t severely tested. SWR’s dangerous forwards, Nicky Constant and Emma Kirkpatrick, were held in check by tight man marking.

“Unfortunately, the ball just didn’t bounce our way today and sometimes that happens,” SWR coach Adrian Gilmore said after the game at Hauppauge High School’s Robert Druckenmiller Field. “That’s the beauty of sports. Sometimes you win the games you’re supposed to lose and lose the games you’re supposed to win.”

Ironically, scoring was anything but a problem in SWR’s previous game, a 6-1 dismantling of Hauppauge in the semifinals.

Fourth-seeded SWR ended up with a 11-5-2 record.

It was SWR’s third county final in five years (the Wildcats won in 2014 and 2017). Islip got revenge for its loss to SWR in last year’s county final. The Wildcats went on to lose to North Shore in the Long Island final. SWR has never advanced beyond that stage.

SWR’s Lakin Ciampo said it was “amazing” that SWR returned to the county final a second straight year. “Not a lot of teams can say they’ve done that, but we worked so hard, and the outcome wasn’t what we deserved. We’ll be back next year.”

Photo caption: Shoreham-Wading River forward Emma Kirkpatrick rises above Islip’s Sarah Penny (8) and Nicole Multer to get her head on the ball. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)