After falling just short of the playoffs on the final day in three of the previous four seasons, Valley Stream girls’ soccer coach Demetri Adrahtas said his goals for 2017 were to win Nassau Conference AB-V and play in the postseason.
Thanks to a high-octane offense and a shutdown defense, the Lady Falcons claimed the conference for the first time in 17 years and a postseason berth for the first time in 10 with a stellar 12-0-1 record before a 2-1 victory at Locust Valley in the lone Class A play-in game. The dream run ended with a competitive 5-3 loss to top-ranked and eventual county champion North Shore on Oct. 24, but Adrahtas still viewed the season as a success.
“That’s the goal we set for ourselves last year,” he said. “When last year ended, we got the kids together and the goal that they set was to win the conference and to make the playoffs. They accomplished them both.”
Sophomore forwards Kayla Camacho (15 goals) and Bryana Pizarro (13) paced an offense that produced a whopping 50 goals on the season, including the playoffs, while a defensive corps led by two-time Conference Player of the Year Lindsey Smith, freshman Hayley Roberts and sophomore fullbacks Christina Hillery and Allison Camacho limited the opposition to just 11 tallies.
Kayla Camacho missed the final regular season game and both postseason contests due to a concussion and her loss was greatly felt against North Shore. The Lady Falcons trailed 3-1 at halftime, but fought back and even appeared to tie the game twice, but both apparent goals went unnoticed by the referee. One shot quickly ricocheted off the back bar of the net and back into the field of play, while the other failed to determine if the Lady Vikings goaltender was behind the goal line with the ball after a save.
“When it ended, [there was] certainly a little bit of disappointment because we had a really good team,” Adrahtas said. “We really felt like we could have gone even further.”
Some of the players’ efforts even caught the eye of league officials. Kayla Camacho and Pizarro earned All-Class honors, Smith was named to the All-County squad to go with her second straight Conference Player of the Year award, sophomore Jessica Sierzega and Roberts were recognized as All-Conference players and senior Caitlyn Lopeck received a scholar-athlete award.
The Lady Falcons should continue to be a team to reckon with as they will lose just seven-goal scorer Lopeck and five-point producer Allison Santos. Junior goalkeeper Natalie Peralta is expected to return for her fourth year as a starter.
“We look ahead to the future and we’re excited about the future,” Adrahtas said. “We’re already talking about going further next year. We’re pretty upbeat.”