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MacArrthur falls in L.I. title game

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A historic MacArthur girls’ soccer season ended in crushing fashion on the doorstep of a trip upstate.

Four days after capturing the school’s second county title since the program was born in 1976, the Lady Generals’ quest at a Long Island crown was snapped Saturday in a 2-1 overtime setback to Shoreham-Wading River in the Class A final at Massapequa’s Berner Middle School. Elizabeth Fields scored off a cross from Ashley Borriello 1:43 into overtime and MacArthur was unable to find the equalizer for the remainder of the 20-minute extra session. MacArthur disputed the eventual winning goal because of a belief that Borriello’s foot was out of bounds before making the pass.

“It is a hard way to lose,” said fourth-year MacArthur coach Jamie San Filippo, whose squad was seeking the Generals’ first upstate appearance since the 2011 team captured a state championship in Class AA. “It’s the second best season we have had in school history.”

Shoreham-Wading River’s dramatic win advanced it to the state semifinals at SUNY Cortland Friday against Jamesville-DeWitt. MacArthur’s magical season ended at 15-2-2 on the heels of defeating third-seeded Mepham 3-0 for the county title on Election Day evening.

 The Lady Generals drew first blood in the Long Island finals when senior striker Kara DeBlaiso found the net off an assist from Tara Sweeney 15 minutes into the first half. The Suffolk County champions answered early in the second half with a tying goal from Lakin Ciampo.

MacArthur had some quality scoring chances to go back in front, but was stymied by a hot goalie in Alison Devall, who recoded six saves including a diving stop late in regulation.  Shannon Kilian kept MacArthur in position for the title with seven saves in what proved to be her final high school soccer match before beginning her collegiate career at nearby Stony Brook next fall.

“Without Shannon in goal we aren’t playing in that game and we aren’t in the game,” San Filippo said. “She is definitely the best girls soccer goalie to every come through MacArthur High School.”

DeBlaiso’s tally in the Long Island championship was her 71st career goal to break the all-time MacArthur record previously held by Arianna Montefusco. The senior striker scored twice in a 3-2 semifinal win against South Side that was decided by a Madison Hnis free kick goal with just 15 seconds left.

Kilian and DeBlaiso are part of a heralded senior class that grew each year after San Filippo took over the program in 2016 to bring MacArthur to championship heights. The 11-member class has laid foundation for what San Filippo hopes culminates with a state title.

“It’s a special group,” he said. “They have changed the culture of our program.”