It was a season to remember for the Great Neck North girls soccer team, as the Blazers fought to a 7-2-1 conference record, their best in recent memory. Only Floral Park at 8-2 stood in the way of a Blazers post-season berth as Coach Erik Connolly’s squad finished second of six teams in its conference.
Led by its All-County goalie Joyce Gallo, the Blazers’ defense paved the way. Gallo posted five shutouts—basically keeping the opponent scoreless every other game—as the team allowed only 10 goals over the 10 games. The Blazers split their two games with powerhouse Floral Park, losing 4-0 in the second game of the season, but later avenging the defeat with a 1-0 victory. In the battle of Great Neck, North scratched out a 0-0 tie at South in an early season non-conference match.
Several North players earned honors. In addition to the All-County Gallo, midfielder Leah Klempner and forward Ali Lux were named All-Conference, and fullback Alex Mirro was named All-Class. Ariel Uzan was named Scholar-Athlete. Gallo was named Conference Player of the Year.
Coach Connelly, who was named Conference Coach of the Year, has high hopes for next year’s squad, as the team will return a strong core, which includes freshman Maya Ran, who won the school’s award as Offensive Player of the Year. The defense will have their work cut out, though, as Gallo graduates, as will seniors Uzan, Gabrielle Berger, Brixhilda Dacaj and Carly Weisen.
“The perfect blend of young, skilled players and experienced upper classmen was certainly the right combination for a successful season,” said Connolly. “More importantly, however, was the team’s camaraderie and drive. This was one of those special teams that motivates themselves and makes a coach’s job very easy.”