The storied MacArthur girls soccer program just wrote another incredible chapter, winning the Conference, Nassau County and Long Island championships in 2022. The team went 14-1-2 and allowed just three goals in 17 games.
The magical run ended in Cortland, NY, when the Lady Generals lost 2-1 to Alberts Magnus in the New York State Class A semifinals at Tompkins Cortland Community College. It was the first time MacArthur advanced to the state semifinals since 2011. MacArthur won the Nassau County title in 2019 and lost in the County finals in the spring of 2021.
It was junior Sara Kealey who helped MacArthur got on the board first in the State semifinals. Kealey chased down a ball that appeared to be going out of bounds. She arrived at the ball and sent a cross that was deflected by the Albertus Magnus goalkeeper. Ysabelle Perillo found the rebound and buried it in the back of the net. But it would be Magnus who scored the next two goals for the 2-1 victory.
“It is an amazing feeling to say we are Long Island Champs,” Kealey said. “We all worked hard to achieve the win in that game. Being a Long Island Champion with this team is something I will never forget.”
Added senior Kaitlin Tung: “It means so much to be a Long Island champion, but even more to be able to do it with teammates I consider family. We did this together and I couldn’t be more proud of everyone.”
Despite the heartbreaking loss, it was a phenomenal season for MacArthur and its first-year coach Steve Costello. Costello has built MacArthur’s baseball team into a perennial power and led the Generals to a county title in his first as a girls soccer coach.
“It’s a great feeling,” Costello said. “Obviously the girls on the team were the most important factor, but assistant coach Ryan Snyder was a holdover from last year’s staff and he played a huge role in our success. Most importantly, the girls deserved the championships that they won. They earned them with their play. I am extremely happy for them.”
The backbone of the Lady Generals were senior goalkeeper Lexie Thompson and the backline that included Ava Angiuli, Caitlin Barry, Hallie Bray and Meghan Wetzel. Also contributing to the defense were Ani Angelakis and Julia Marazzo, as well as two-way players Bella Calabro and Hailey Metzger. The team notched 15 shutouts and allowed only one goal until the final game.
Each week, it seemed a different player stepped up for MacArthur. In the Nassau County quarterfinals it was Bella Calabro who scored in the fourth minute for a 1-0 win over Wantagh. In the semifinals, it was Hailey Metzger who scored in a 1-0 win over Plainedge. In the county finals, it was Metzger and Kaitlyn Tung who scored for a 2-0 win over Garden City.
In the 1-0 win over Shoreham Wading River for the Long Island championship, it was Kealey who scored and Thompson who made 11 saves, many of them acrobatic.
“This season was beyond what I expected,” Kealey said. “We have the talent, dedication, and we work together as a team with great coaches. The reward of the accomplishments was earned with our hard work. Having an undefeated season, Conference champs, Nassau champs, Long Island Champs and we went States. These were all amazing results.”
On the season, Tung led MacArthur with nine goals and six assists. Kealey had eight goals and two assists, while Metzger had four goals and three assists.
“This season was so rewarding for all of us,” Tung said. “Our hard work and commitment at every practice allowed us to be so successful and improve as individuals and as a team. We were able to conquer so much with our dedication.”
The Lady Generals earned numerous post-season awards. Lexie Thompson, Kaitlyn Tung, Ava Angiuli and Meghan Wetzel earned All County honors. Bella Calabro, Caitlyn Barry and Sara Kealey were named Honorable Mention All County. Hailey Metzger, Hallie Bray, Julia Marrazzo and Carly Koprowski were named to the All Conference team.
The rest of the Lady Generals include: Jenna Nasello, Lauren Stevens, Amanda Lora, Amelia Molina, Sofia Maris, Irene Anastopspolaus, Ysabella Perillo, Nikki Magnozzi, Sienna Sedacca, Isabella Duffy, Makenzie Drauch, Jenna Deblasio and Gianna DiManti.
Costello gave all the credit to his players. When asked how special this team was, he said, “Extremely special. These girls are amazing people. From the beginning, assistant coach Ryan Snyder and myself depended on them for feedback and advice constantly. Every day spent with them was a joy—they are smart, fun, dedicated, hard-working, tough, and talented. We could never have asked for more from a team.”
James Rowan is an Anton Media Group contributor from Levittown.