The Oceanside Sailors girls’ soccer team is hoping the seas are finally calm as they continue their journey through the regular season.
Oceanside snapped a modest two-game losing streak with a 2-1 win over Syosset (5-2) last Friday thanks to first-half goals by Samantha Friedman and senior Gianna Fucile and five saves by sophomore Julianna Ewashko, who returned after missing the last six games with a foot injury.
The loss of graduating players that keyed last year’s nine-win team, injuries, and illnesses have been contributing factors to Oceanside’s 3-6 (3-4 in Conference AA1) start to 2022, but the Sailors have shown a competitive spirit in recent weeks that could get them out of their funk for good.
After a 2-0 win over Port Washington on Sept. 17 that squared its conference record at 2-2, Oceanside held off state-champion Massapequa the best it could in a 2-0 loss two days later before dropping a disappointing 1-0 decision to struggling Plainview Old-Bethpage on Sept. 21 in which it peppered 15 unsuccessful shots at Hawks’ goalkeeper Samantha Graf.
“We should have won with no problem,” coach Marianna Winchester said. “It was a team that we knew was in last place and it was one of those things where they played down. They figured this was going to be an easy win. We had 15 shots on goal and we were shooting them right at the goaltender. [Graf] didn’t dive once.”
Oceanside avoided an 0-3 start on Sept. 9 by scoring five unanswered goals in the second half for a 5-1 victory at Farmingdale. Senior Megan Checola had two goals and an assist and varsity rookie Addison Vice scored twice for the Sailors, who trailed 1-0 at halftime despite holding the advantage in time of possession.
“I said, ‘You look beautiful on the field moving the ball, but if you don’t shoot the ball and you don’t finish, we’re not going to win,’” Winchester said to her team at intermission.
Nine different players have scored goals for the Sailors this season, with Vice and Friedman leading the way with three goals apiece. Senior defender Gianna Fucile leads the team with seven points (2-4-6) with Checola and newcomer Samantha Gemmo chipping in two goals each.
Junior Blake Goldstein, a new starter at center midfield, has impressed with her ability to distribute the ball and be a consistent offensive catalyst and Winchester has also lauded the defensive play of senior Olivia Deserio.
Despite her inexperience, sophomore Estela Quintero filled in admirably for Ewashko by averaging just over six saves a game in six starts, including seven against Massapequa.
“This girl has stepped up tremendously,” Winchester said of Quintero. “She’s done the best she could in making the saves she could over and beyond what I expected of her.”
Oceanside had six days off to prepare for its rematch against Farmingdale on Sept. 29 and conclude its home schedule against Herricks on Oct. 6. The Sailors then finish the season with three straight on the road as they jockey for playoff position.