On an emotional night for the Southold/Greenport girls soccer team, Grace Syron celebrated the squad’s first Suffolk County title in 30 years in the best way possible.
She scored the first two goals in a 3-0 victory over The Stony Brook School in the Class C championship game at Islip High School Friday night and dedicated the win to her late mother. Kathleen Syron passed away on Sept. 15.
“I wanted to score for her,” the senior midfielder said. “She couldn’t be here. I especially wanted to win this for her because she drove me to all my practices.”
The First Settlers’ only other county crown came back in 1987, years before this team was born.
“It means everything to me for how many years I’ve been on this team,” Syron said. “It has been my goal to win the counties. With this group of girls I’ve played with for so many years, it’s a great feeling to share this with them.
“They’re very special. I’ve been playing with them for four years and we’ve all grown up together.”
The First Settlers (13-4) will play the winner of the Section I/IX regional match in the Southeast Regionals at Diamond in the Pines in Coram on Nov. 3 at 4 p.m.
Syron played a vital role in helping Southold reach its next challenge.
After Stony Brook goalkeeper Leka Lee-Macha denied Syron’s header with 31 minutes and 9 seconds remaining in the first half, Syron got another opportunity on the ensuing corner kick.
Midfielder Hannah Sutton sent her corner into the area and Syron took advantage of a clear header into the left side for a 1-0 lead.
Goalkeeper Hayley Brigham, in her first game back since being sidelined with a scaphoid injury, hardly saw any action due to the First Settlers’ utter domination. Brigham, however, played a vital role in Southold’s second goal. She lofted a long goal kick to Jillian Golden, who played it to the onrushing Syron. Syron then slotted it home for a 2-0 advantage with 20:57 to go in the half.
Sutton put the exclamation point on the victory with a 25-yard shot to the right near post with 21:59 remaining in the game.
The final score wasn’t indicative of the First Settlers’ domination of the Bears (9-8). They outshot the Bears, 34-2, not allowing the first shot until there was 14:37 remaining in the match.
“You know what? This is a special group,” coach Chris Golden said. “I always thought this group had the potential to reach this point. What I think is really special about this group is the charisma and personality of this team, it’s so positive and so upbeat. It’s such a tight-knit group. As the season progressed, despite injuries, despite some personal tragedies, this team has a bond. To reach this point, I couldn’t ask for anything better. I am so happy for these guys.”
Photo caption: Southold/Greenport players celebrate the team’s first county championship in 30 years. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)