After more than 87 minutes of scoreless soccer in the Nassau Class A girls’ final, Mia Delmond took over to deliver South Side its first county crown in six seasons.
The junior striker fired a shot into the left corner of the MacArthur net with 2:27 remaining in the first overtime for the eventual game-winner in a 2-0 triumph against top-seeded McArthur on April 28. She then added a key insurance tally with 4:07 remaining in the second extra session.
“We all played together and never stopped pushing,” Delmond said. “It was a whole team effort.”
Delmond’s heroics at MacArthur’s home field in Levittown delivered South Side (7-2-3), a once dominant New York State power, its first county title since 2014. It capped an unusual delayed fall season met with challenges amid the Covid-19 pandemic. There is no traditional Long Island or state championship this year due to logistical challenges posed by the health crisis.
The championship match marked a long-awaited rematch of the 2019 Class A semifinals when MacArthur defeated South Side 3-2 en route to an eventual county title. MacArthur (13-1-2) had previously defeated South Side 1-0 on March 26 and played to a 0-0 tie on April 9 as part of a dominant regular season campaign in which Generals only surrendered one goal heading into the playoffs.
“This is something we have been working for and towards for a while and they wholeheartedly deserved it,” South Side head coach Jenn Abgarian said. “They put in the work that they needed to and as a unit as a team as a program it was very special.”
The Cyclones had several chances to win in regulation, but were thwarted by MacArthur’s stingy defense. Sophomore goalie Lexie Thompson made seven saves including a key stop on a South Side corner kick early in the second half where she knocked the ball away from danger.
MacArthur senior midfielder Alyssa Accordino was also instrumental in keeping the game scoreless during regulation with some clutch plays that included positioning herself in front of the goal line to clear away a shot on an open net from off a corner kick with 18 minutes left.
MacArthur, which was competing in its third straight county finals, had some solid scoring chances in the first half including hitting a crossbar with just 35 seconds left before halftime.
“We didn’t take advantage of some opportunities we had in the first half,” MacArthur head coach Jamie San Filippo said. “Some of our top goal scorers had some open looks from inside the 18-yard box and throughout the season those have been goals.”
San Filippo said some tired legs also may have caught up with his team less than 48 hours after the Generals knocked off Garden City 2-1 in double overtime on a goal from Fiona Killan off an assist by Kaitlyn Tung. MacArthur trailed 1-0 for much of the match before a Madison Hnis goal knotted the score with just under 10 minutes left.
“That was the first time at halftime we have been down for the entire season,” San Filippo said. “That is a high pressure moment and as the game went on instead of them getting more and more nervous it actually looked like they were getting more and more confident.”
The South Side title brought a storybook close to five graduating seniors Kate Sweeney, Ella Delmond, Maddie Roberti, Sydney Rathjen and Maddy Wolfrom. Plenty of talent returns this fall in the Cyclones’ quest for a repeat and a chance to compete for the program’s first state title since 2012.
“Winning this title sets the tone hopefully for the next couple of years,” said Mia Delmond, who is planning to play lacrosse at Quinnipiac with her sister Ella. “We’re back on the map.”