The Glen Cove Lady Big Red finished its 2018 soccer season 4-8-3 (4-4-2 Conference AB6) with a sweet senior game result, downing Malverne/East Rockaway 3-1.
“It was nice to get that win, 3-1, a few days before the year had ended for the girls,” said Peter Falen, head coach of the Lady Big Red.
This would be the last time Glen Cove’s beloved seniors would grace their home field and lace up their boots in their home locker room. The northern Long Island shore natives responded well, with three goals combined combing from the feet of two seniors who have been instrumental in any and all of Glen Cove’s success: Ariana Greenberg and Olivia Muzante. Tammy Perez, possible future centerpiece of this midfield, nabbed an assist as well. Senior goalkeeper, captain and leader Jaynise Espinal made nine saves, only conceding one goal.
Falen was forthright in his praise for not just the skill, but character of his senior group. “They’re really just one of the best group of girls I’ve ever coached,” said Falen. “They’re kind and they’re really smart. This is the highest GPA team I think that I’ve had.”
Falen continued on to point out a core group that has been with him for multiple seasons. “Our goalkeeper Jaynise, our midfielder Ariana Greenberg, defender Karina Hernandez, and the Costello twins Micaela and Lucy,” Falen pointed out. “When it comes down to it, these five girls have really been the heart and soul of this team for a good amount of time now.”
Those five girls combined for 15 points, and Espinal has accumulated 136 saves.
Falen backs up his keeper to the full extent, pointing out there’s a lot of games where the defense may start failing to communicate and shots filter their way through to Espinal with repetition. “There are certainly sometimes where Jaynise is seeing a lot of shots coming her way, but she never breaks,” Falen said of his captain’s mentality.
Near the midway point, Falen was quoted saying he wanted to start seeing defensive stops, with Jaynise seeing so many shots and the defense constantly being pressured, that a more high-powered offense was needed. Up until Oct. 3, Glen Cove had been shut out on three different occasions. From Oct. 3 on, Glen Cove refused to be shut out, scoring at least a goal in every game. The team even had a multi-goal game in three out of its last four games, a feat they had not accomplished in that number of games all year.
Falen and his seniors will have to part ways here, but soccer production isn’t what has the coach’s and programs heart in shambles. “It’s just nice to have a group like this, that wants to do well for the program, for the community, and for each other,” Falen said. There will be new goal scorers, assist collectors, and net protectors to grace the maroon and white in years future, but a special group of student-athletes says its goodbyes to Glen Cove soccer program this fall.