Stella Maris Loses Final Game; Lady Dolphins Fall
The events surrounding the closing of Stella Maris High School haven't quite hit Lady Flippers girls soccer coach Michelle Raaf yet.
She knows how the spectre of the closing has affected her team emotionally. And while it has been tough for Raaf, the alumna was impressed that her team persevered and bonded together in such a trying time.
The Lady Flippers brought that attitude onto the Verrazano Sports Complex soccer field on Tuesday afternoon. Stella Maris battled hard but lost 4-1 to Bishop Kearney in the first round of the Brooklyn/ Queens CHSAA playoffs. It is the final soccer game as the school closes next year.
"They played so hard out there. They were aggressive and we tried hard to go out and win," Raaf said.
"I really can't believe it's over. I thought it would hit me once the game ended, but it hasn't just yet."
Bishop Kearney had taken a 2-0 lead in the first half. Stella Maris cut the deficit on a Liz Cholakis goal to make it 2-1.
The Tigers came out strong in the second half in scoring the final two goals. Forward Emily Mason scored three goals in the game. Stella Maris goalkeeper Kate Mannes saved 16 shots.
Raaf says the team has gotten a lot of support from the opposition in the CHSAA and from schools throughout the city. It's been a big help to boosting the morale, which was also aided by the support that came from the parents, grandparents and the entire school. And she's glad her team, who finished the regular season at 7-5-1, performed well on the field.
"I'm glad people have been supportive and been thinking of us. I think we made a name for ourselves on the field," said Raaf.
Red Devils Beat Lady Dolphins
The last time Beach Channel faced defending PSAL B champions Flushing in the regular season, the game was not a memorable one, to say the least, for the Lady Dolphins. On October 11, Flushing handily defeated Beach Channel 7-0.
Last Tuesday afternoon, the Dolphins went toe-totoe for at least one half against the first seed Red Devils. Beach Channel's Jasmine Corona scored a goal midway to cut the Flushing lead to 2-1.
But Flushing went on to regain control in the second half, getting two goals from Melissa Lijo and one from sister Sarah Lijo as the Red Devils won 5-1.
Lady Dolphins coach Osei Akokot knew he had an almost impossible task to defeat powerhouse Flush - ing. But he credits his team for giving it their best throughout the entire game. "They felt good about it," Akoto said. "They had a good goal. What the kids did this season was a great accomplishment. They went in and they really played. I give it to them."