Sports

The remarkable Manhasset U9 soccer team has won another two very prestigious tournaments over the winter-so far. After winning the Hofstra Villaneuva tournament (named after a local firefighter who died on September 11), the girls were invited to compete in New Jersey and won their first out of state tournament. They are now considered the strongest soccer team in their age group on Long Island.

In the Hofstra tournament, the girls played in the Major Division and won their group round rather easily against three other Long Island teams. They romped through the semi finals (3-0) against Sound View before meeting a strong team from Merrick in the final. The girls from Merrick scored very early in the game and were still leading 1-0 with just five minutes to go. But the character of this Manhasset team, who never knows when they are beaten, allowed them to equalize and, with just 30 seconds remaining, to score the winner. Top scorer Halle Palmedo and Lauren Martelli scored the goals while staunch defending from Ariana Aliprantis and Caroline Kelly stopped the opposition. The five victories in this tournament pushed their unbeaten run against other town teams to almost 60 games.

On a cold winter Saturday, the girls trekked to the Teaneck Armory for their first taste of out-of-state soccer. They cruised through the early rounds of the competition, scoring 12 goals without conceding any, before meeting Manhattan Santos in the final. Manhattan is one of the strongest soccer clubs in the country and before this game they were unbeaten-a clash of two unbeaten teams. An early goal from Caroline Smith gave Manhasset the lead before the ingenuity of Olivia Wesch led to a second. Maggie Beresheim put the game beyond doubt to finalize the 3-0 win.

This remarkable group of young athletes is building a strong reputation on Long Island as the team to beat. In March they have been invited to play in the Red Bulls Superdome Cup in New Jersey and in April they have been accepted into the nationally ranked FC Delco tournament in Pennsylvania. Thank you to Manhasset Soccer Club for giving them this opportunity.


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