Kayla Greco | Democrat
Liberty’s Keelin Bonilla (red) battles for possession with Sullivan West’s Alie Hemmer during Friday night’s 0-0 tie at Lake Huntington.
Story by Kayla Greco
LAKE HUNTINGTON October 22, 2013 Although the Sullivan West -Liberty girls’ soccer game ended 0-0, it didn’t appear the teams were evenly matched.
Liberty seemingly dominated the game, keeping the ball in the Sullivan West end for huge chunks of time with its strong footwork and passing. The Indians showed why they were having a solid season and entered the game with a winning record.
But Sullivan West, which has struggled to a 3-13-1 record, came up big on homecoming night with an impenetrable defensive wall in front of goalie Lexi Feinman. Liberty got 11 shots off, but all were repelled by Feinman.
“Our girls are really good at shooting, really good at scoring but their goalie kept them in it,” said Liberty head coach Anne Ramos.
Even though Sullivan West had been eliminated from playoff contention weeks ago, they were motivated to prevent Liberty from qualifying as well. An Indian loss would have kept them out of the sectionals while a win or tie guaranteed them a spot. Sullivan West was also looking to avenge a loss to Liberty earlier in the season.
With the tie, Liberty (5-5-3; 3-3-2 OCIAA) is now in the Section IX playoffs.
Following the game, Sullivan West seniors shared a bittersweet moment with each other and their younger teammates. Though the season was disappointing as far as wins and losses, they “grew together as a team,” according to senior captain Marianne Durkin.
Sullivan West head coach Mike Ellmauer has seen many seniors come and go in his 30 years of coaching, simply said, “we’ll be okay.”
Sullivan West will be losing nine seniors from this year’s team.
Liberty’s sectional opponent has not yet been determined.