The Lynbrook/East Rockaway Soccer Club defeated Massapequa to win the New York State Cup championship on June 4. With the win, it advances to the Region 1 championship on July 4 in Virginia.
The club has overcome many obstacles since the season started in March — including bad weather, which caused many of its games to be postponed. As a result, the team had to play under a condensed schedule. “The most challenging aspect of the season was squeezing all the games in such a short amount of time," said PJ O'Doherty, the coach of the club.
The team also received a sportsmanship award from the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association after the Cup championship game. O’Doherty preaches sportsmanship to his players. "Respect the game and respect the opponent, win or lose," he said of his message. "I was thrilled for the girls themselves because of everything they have put into it. To come back again this year and go all the way is such an accomplishment."
In the Long Island Cup finals on June 17, the team once again played Massapequa, but ultimately lost 2-1, giving them a 20-2-3 record heading into the Region 1 championship.
"Hopefully we can have more success in Virginia,” O’Doherty said. “We will definitely give it our best shot. I'm so proud of the girls. They really are fantastic.”
The team started off in a lower tier of the Long Island Soccer League and worked its way up through the different divisions. O'Doherty has been coaching the girls, now between ages 15 and 16, since 2006. "I was so proud of them, they are a good bunch of girls," O'Doherty said. Many of the members on the team are being recognized at the college level by coaches in the area, he added.
To join the team, or for more information contact coach O'Doherty at (914) 490-3916 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.