Amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, the Lynbrook girls’ soccer team had a spring season they’d likely prefer to forget. Still, coach Mike Palumbo was content with its performance despite the harsh record. “The girls last season battled every single game,” he said.
The Owls finished the shortened season 2-10-1 in Conference A2, which positioned them last in the standings. Due to the structure of the conference, the squad was relegated to A3 for this season. Perhaps the relegation was a blessing in disguise, as they have performed admirably in their initial three matches, maintaining a 2-0-1 record.
As opposed to last season where the team was composed of a multitude of seniors, this years’ squad is noticeably younger, forcing the few remaining seniors to become leaders on the fly. One is starting goalkeeper Keziah Job. “Job is a senior who is a first-year goalkeeper that we trained over the summer,” Palumbo said. “She has come very far and is doing an absolutely amazing job. She is a very good and big basketball player so she has great hands, and that’s one of the reasons we transitioned her to keeper.” The off-season workouts seem to be paying off in the early going, as she has only conceded 4 goals in their first two matches.
In the midfield, Palumbo stated that four-year varsity player and three-year captain Olivia Vuotto acts as the “point guard” of said unit and the team as a whole. “She doesn’t come off the field,” Palumbo said. “She works every minute of every game. She takes all of our free kicks and corner kicks. She is our true leader.”
Vuotto, who is also kicking for Lynbrook’s football team, has three goals already. Joining Olivia as both a captain and a starting midfielder is her sister Tyla. The latter plays a more attacking style than her sister and has performed remarkably so far tallying three goals and two assists. Rounding out the unit is freshman Gabriella Meszaros “who constantly plays up beyond her ability,” Palumbo said, and eighth-grader Leah Casolaro, who leads the Owls with three assists.
Leading the defense is captain and three-year varsity player Isabella Sanchez. Palumbo referenced her as one of the other leaders along with Olivia Vuotto. Sanchez leads a talented but very young defense and is “constantly vocalizing to the younger girls,” Palumbo noted. She already has scored a goal this season. Accompanying her on the defensive line is Junior Alexandra Kim, Sophomores Mikayla D’Ambrosio and Lucia Palumbo, and eighth-grader Payton Staltzer, who is their first substitute off the bench. The unit as a whole has performed well in the early going.
The Owls started their season off with comfortable road victories against both Jericho and Island Trees by scores of 4-2 and 5-2, respectively. Olivia and Tyla Vuotto had two goals apiece at Island Trees. Last Saturday, they battled Long Beach to a 1-1 draw in the home opener. Olivia Vuotto scored and Job made nine saves.