The girls soccer and basketball programs at MacArthur both posted seasons to remember this school year. In the middle of both seasons was a core of four special athletes: Lexie Thompson, Sara Kealey, Ava Anguili and Ani Angelakis.
Over the course of the soccer and basketball seasons, these athletes helped lead MacArthur to a combined 32-5-2 record. Steve Costello was the head girls soccer coach and an assistant girls basketball coach, he saw first-hand what these ladies accomplished.
“Along with these four, there were many other girls who don’t play both sports who are part of an outstanding group of female athletes in the school,” said Costello. “Our softball team might be the best team on Long Island this year. And these athletes are extremely motivated and mature. It is a very special group.”
The girls soccer team notched Conference, Nassau County and Long Island championships before losing in the state Class A semifinals. The girls basketball team was undefeated Conference AI champions. They were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs by eventual county champion Manhasset.
At one point during the basketball season, the Generals went on a 15-game winning streak. On six occasions they held their opponents to under 30 points, and under 40 a total of 10 times. The Lady Generals finished with an 18-4 record overall and were 12-0 in conference.
“These two past seasons have been competitive seasons,” said junior Sara Kealey.
“Everyone on the team will never forget these experiences. It’s been a great team effort, with great athletes, and experienced coaches. We all put the time and commitment in for our success.”
Added senior Lexie Thompson: “I believe our success on both teams came from the relationships we have created as a team. On both the soccer and basketball teams we became so close and we all wanted to win for each other, not only ourselves.”
The girls soccer team, which notched its first Long Island title since 2011, turned in an astonishing 15 shutouts. The Generals, let by goalkeeper Thompson and a tough back line, allowed just three goals all season. MacArthur scored 28 goals.
“Playing with the same girls on multiple teams definitely helps understand how they are as teammates, but you also create a really close bond with them,” said Thompson.
“This bond went further than just those four players though. On both teams, every player was extremely close with each other,” he added.
Costello had a front row seat to both magical seasons. Here are his thoughts on the Core Four:
Ava Anguili – Ava is an elite athlete and an outstanding person. She was first team All State in soccer and Conference Player of the Year in basketball. Ava is a leader and the other student athletes look up to her because of her maturity and decision making. In soccer she anchored the back line in one of the great defenses in Nassau County history, and in basketball she was our go-to player on offense and defense.
Lexie Thompson – Lexie is one of the handful of greatest athletes in MacArthur sports history. She is truly elite in her athleticism – strong, fast, relentless, smart, and powerful. Lexie is also a fantastic person and her teammates love her. She was an All American in soccer, one of only 4 goalies in the nation to be honored as such. I have nominated her to be the Gatorade New York State Player of the Year in soccer and she is deserving of that honor. In basketball she was a force of nature, impacting games on the board and on the defensive end.
Sara Kealey – Sara is tough, skilled, and clutch. She scored the only goal against Shoreham Wading River in our 1-0 win in the Long Island Championship game, a beautiful goal scored with her weaker right foot. On a team that relied on defense, Sara scored quite a few big goals. In basketball Sara was named All County, playing point guard and hitting clutch shots from the perimeter. She is good enough to play both sports in college and is a junior who will add to her resume next year.
Ani Angelakis – Also a junior, Ani is the ultimate high-motor player off the bench in both sports. In soccer she played many clutch minutes on the back line for our amazing defense, and also excels at serving balls into the offensive end. She is tough and aggressive, and never backs down. The same is true in basketball where she provided a spark whenever she entered the game. Ani is a winner with a knack for making big plays. Next year she will be a key contributor in both sports, as well as lacrosse.