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Seaford 5-0-1 at midway mark

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Seaford continues to make its way up the Nassau girls’ soccer ladder.

The Vikings, who in 2019 captured the Conference A-IV title in undefeated fashion, are enjoying just as much success 16 months later against a higher level of competition with a 5-0-1 record in A-III at the midway mark.

“The girls are doing a great job with everything,” coach Ken Botti said. “They’re doing everything in their power to be safe with the Covid situation and they’re playing strong soccer. I knew we’d be strong defensively. It’s just a matter of jelling on offense.”

Aside from a scoreless draw with Jericho, the offense produced at least four goals in every other game. Senior captains Olivia Pearse, Niki Kassimatis and Ashley Sidoti are serving as the catalysts, Botti said, and proving a handful for the competition.

Pearse, an All-State selection as a junior and also the Conference A-IV Player of the Year, is inching close to 100 percent health following offseason ACL surgery. She played all 80 minutes in Seaford’s 4-1 win over Island Trees on March 24 and has 4 goals and 3 assists so far. She’s a five-year varsity starting midfielder and two-time All-County selection bound for Hofstra University. “She’s an immensely talented player who makes everyone around her better,” Botti said. Junior Antonietta Buffolino is an orchestrator at center-midfield along with Pearse.

Kassimatis and Sidoti form a dynamic duo at forward. Through nine games, Kassimatis had 9 goals and 7 assists for a team-leading 16 points, and Sidoti had 5 goals and 5 assists. Kassimatis has goals in all but the Jericho game and notched a hat trick against Valley Stream North. “They feed off each other so well,” Botti said. “Niki added a nice balance to her game and is setting up others just as much as she’s scoring. Ashley is just phenomenal in the air. She’s a great target on set pieces.”

Another target on free kicks and corners is junior defender Alexandria Leggio, who scored the game-winning goal against top-seeded Wantagh in the 2019 playoffs. She’s not only a quality marking back, Botti noted, but also a weapon on throw-ins. Senior stopper Abby Kossmann is an experienced defender who ignites the Vikings in transition with her distribution skills. Junior Emma Williamson is a steady defender with great anticipation instincts, said Botti, and scored a goal against Island Trees. Freshman Arianna Garcia is thriving as a center-back.

In goal, Seaford has talented junior Maddy Catalanotti, a returning starter with all the tools who’s also a strong communicator. She made 17 saves through the first six games and posted three shutouts.

“One of our goals is to host a playoff game,” Botti said. “Another is to go beyond the quarterfinals to top what we accomplished last season.”