The Great Neck Green Storm rallied against heat, exhaustion and teams with older players to take home first place in the Girls U12 Red division in a soccer tournament on Sunday, topping three teams with the help of teamwork and a new coach.
Grant Toch, one of the team’s parent managers, said the girls were sometimes pitted against teams with more developed athletes in the sixth grade. Coach Harlon Smith was also a new trainer, he said, having had four training sessions with the girls.
Because of this, Toch said, it was “quite an accomplishment.”
“They were really happy to have won,” Toch, whose daughter Madison plays on the team, said on Wednesday. “It was really hot, they were tired, my daughter was black and blue a little bit, so they were really excited.”
“They were all as happy as a bunch of 10-year-old girls could be,” Toch later added. “I would say for them it’s a pretty big accomplishment.”
The victory also marked the girls’ first victory in the Annual Bob Schrager Memorial Long Island Cup, which this year put them against the Massapequa Eliminators, Hewlett-Lawrence Blue Tornadoes, and Oceanside Orange Crush.
Great Neck, Oceanside and Massapequa ultimately found themselves in a three-way tie, each having won two games.
Great Neck lost one to two against Oceanside, but beat Hewlett-Lawrence five to two and Massapequa four to two in their final game.
All three games, 50 minutes each with an hour break in between, were played in a single day.
Toch said that in the final game, the girls were losing 2-1 after the first half.
The girls ultimately rallied though, scoring three goals in the final half, with fellow parent manager Justin Maze’s daughter scoring the third goal on a penalty kick which propelled them into the lead.
“That was the biggest standout moment of the afternoon,” Toch said.
A tie-breaking formula ultimately deemed Great Neck the tournament’s winner.
Great Neck scored 10 points in total and had six goals scored against them, according to the results. Massapequa scored one more point, but also had one more goal scored against them, thus taking second place. Oceanside, which took home bronze, made 10 goals but had nine scored against them.
Hewlett-Lawrence didn’t win any of their games and took home fourth.
Ultimately, Toch said the tournament marks a good way to start the new year, where the girls will likely play upwards of 40 games between now and the end of school.
“It was a really nice way to start the season,” Toch said.