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GN Jaguars Roar To Memorial Day Tournament Finals

Great Neck’s under-13 girls travel soccer team, the Jaguars, roared to a silver medal second-place finish in the 33rd Annual Lincoln Page Memorial Day Tournament at Hofstra University.

The Jaguars cruised through their bracket in the Elite division without allowing a single goal. They took their two Saturday matches, winning 1-0 against the Massapequa X-Treme and 3-0 over the Massapequa SC Cyclones. The girls won their bracket on Sunday, June 3 in a showdown against the previously undefeated Wantagh/Seaford Crusaders, topping the south shore team, 1-0.

The game’s lone goal was a beauty, scored by striker Madison Solomon off a sparkling cross by a streaking Ali Lux, and set up by a perfect outlet pass by center-midfielder Isabella Malfi. Goalie Julia Steiner notched all three shutouts, anchoring the tough defensive line of Samantha Greben, Leah Klempner, Alexandra Mirro and Haley Raphael.

Sunday’s final was played in Hofstra’s James Shuart Stadium, with the Jaguars matched up against the Hicksville Dynamite, who had likewise won their Elite bracket without surrendering a goal. The Jags broke that streak, though, with Solomon converting in the first half for the first goal allowed by the Dynamite all weekend. Jags midfielders Rachel Brenner, Danielle DelPonte, Emma Guggenheimer, Ally Hendler, Vanessa Lamoretti and Brittney Zelniker controlled the action and held the 1-0 lead until midway through the second half when the Dynamite scored on a penalty kick. The score stayed tied at 1-1 through two sudden death overtime periods. Hicksville won the match in a shootout on penalty kicks.

The Jags showed enormous fortitude fighting through the warm weekend and tough competition. Coaches Leigh Pilkington, Rebecca Pilkington, Michael Lamoretti and Anthony Malfi were spotted after the games all beaming with pride.