NYACK – Second chances don’t always come around, but after falling short as the favorite in a decisive penalty kick shootout to eventual Section 1 champion and state semifinalist Clarkstown North last season, Albertus Magnus wondered if it would get an opportunity at redemption.
That moment finally came in a rematch with the Rams on Saturday night, with higher stakes and the Class A title on the line.
This time, there were no penalty kicks, no regrets and no upsets. The top-seeded Falcons defeated the third-seeded Rams, 1-0, to win the Section 1 Class A crown.
“I know this wasn’t just another game for the girls,” Albertus Magnus coach Danny Samimi said. “This was an important one of them to show what happened last season wasn’t going to happen again. All offseason, all season long, the girls were working for this final and it showed.”
Albertus Magnus defeats Clarkstown North 1-0 to claim the Section 1 Class A soccer championship at Nyack High School in Nyack on Saturday, October 29, 2022.
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The Falcons got the jitters and nerves settled early. They came out firing on the attacking end and were relentless from the opening kick. After a couple of near-misses, they finally connected with an early first-half goal by Isabel DiPrima, who freed herself from an opposing defender and shot the ball into the back of the net.
The score remained the same throughout after that, but the Falcons were well in control.
“Feels awesome, especially being my senior season and against the school where I was supposed to go,” DiPrima said. “I had an amazing ball in from Grace and just played it simple on the ground. Credit to all of them, they got me the ball and I just finished it off.”
The Falcons are flying into the state tournament with confidence. They went through Section 1 play without giving up a single goal to their opponents. They did allow a goal to New Jersey power Immaculate Heart, but no New York school has scored on them yet, and they plan on keeping it that way.
“Our defense has been amazing all season long,” Samimi said. “Allows our forwards a little bit more freedom to be creative in the attacking third and not have to track back often. … Definitely relieved to get this one done, and now we can just play and have fun.”
What it means
The Falcons won their first Section 1 Class A title since moving up from Class B in 2018. They did also win a Section 1 regional title during a COVID-impacted 2020 season. It is the 13th Section 1 title in program history.
They’ll face Section 9 Class A champion Goshen in the state regional semifinal on Tuesday at Arlington High School.
Player of the game
Isabel DiPrima, Albertus Magnus: The Delaware commit had the decisive goal in the championship game. As a senior, you can’t ask for more.
Albertus Magnus’ Maggie Murphy (2) works for a header during their 1-0 win over Clarkstown North in the Section 1 Class A soccer championship game at Nyack High School in Nyack on Saturday, October 29, 2022.
By the numbers
No. 1 Albertus Magnus (18-1) — Grace Burns had an assist. Aubrey Haesche had the shutout in goal.
No. 3 Clarkstown North (16-3-1) — Sydney Ferst was admirable in goal and made 10 saves.
They said it
“It was definitely, ‘Oh my God, here we go again,’ but we were just excited,” DiPrima said. “We were really motivated, driven to go out there and play our hardest to win.”
“We conceded too much space,” Clarkstown North coach Bryan Smith said, who also noted sustained injuries to two starters from the semifinals were not a factor. “When you do that with three Division I forwards rolling up, they’re gonna make you pay. We just couldn’t generate enough on the offensive third. … The girls have legitimately nothing to hang their heads about. We subbed maybe one or two players on, and all those girls left everything they had out on the field. You’re playing a team that conceded one goal this whole year, and we battled with them and made them earn it.”
Follow Eugene Rapay on Twitter at @erapay5 and on Instagram at @byeugenerapay.
This article originally appeared on Rockland/Westchester Journal News: Girls soccer: Albertus Magnus finds redemption in section title