High hopes for Valley Stream South

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Aside from teams with county championship banners, no Nassau girls’ soccer program has enjoyed as much success over the past two seasons as Valley Stream South.

The Lady Falcons have won 21 of their last 24 conference games and figure to be a handful again this fall with most of last year’s squad returning combined with a pair of highly skilled transfers. In 2017, South captured a conference crown — its first since 2000 — in undefeated fashion (11-0-1) and ousted Locust Valley in the Class A playoffs before giving eventual Long Island champion North Shore a

run for its money in the quarterfinals, falling 5-3.

“Based on what we’ve done the past few years and the talent we return and added, we’re legitimately talking about a county title,” coach Demetri Adrahtas said.

Among the many returning award winners, the roster features three Division I commits. Senior center-back defender Lindsay Smith is a two-time Conference Player of the Year and three-time All-County selection who was heavily recruited. The fifth-year varsity starter decided on West Point. “She’s a dominant player who controls everything in the back,” Adrahtas said. “She’s almost like a goalie before anyone can get to our goalie.”

One of the leading scores in the county last season, junior forward Bryana Pizarro (Honorable Mention All-County, 15 goals, 11 assists) has committed to Mississippi State. “She’s a dynamic talent and has a ‘refuse to lose’ attitude,” Adrahtas said.

Pizarro and junior Kayla Camacho (also Honorable Mention All-County) give the Lady Falcons a prolific scoring tandem up front. Camacho has filled the scoresheet in each of the past two seasons, totaling 30 goals and 16 assists. “She’s a naturally gifted scorer,” Adrahtas said of Camacho, who missed last year’s playoffs due to injury. “She can take anyone one-on-one and has a nose for the net.”

A pair of newcomers are likely to join All-Conference returnee Jessica Sierzega, a strong two-way player with a non-stop motor, in the midfield. Sophomore Mia Asenjo, already with a verbal to attend Central Florida, starred at Holy Trinity and is part of the Team USA pipeline on a national level. “From what I’ve heard she was the top player in the Catholic League, and I can already see why,” Adrahtas said. “We’ll probably use her at center-midfield, but she can play anywhere and excel.” Junior Alexxis McNeil transferred from Flushing and brings lightning-quick speed to the lineup.

South’s starting defense returns intact. Hailey Roberts earned All-Conference honors as a freshman and has the ability to dominate while playing in the center alongside Smith. Junior fullbacks Christina Hillery and Allison Camacho are entering their fourth and third years, respectively, as starters. In goal, senior Natalie Peralta has experience and impressive stats since taking over in 2016. “Natalie is a great leader who communicates really well,” Adrahtas said.

Despite their recent achievements, the Lady Falcons were placed in Conference ABC-V, essentially ranked between No. 25 and 30, where Seaford is expected to pose the biggest threat.