Prusayeva, Girls Soccer Earn Playoff Berth, Win
Written by Karen Ronka, Junior Writer
The Hillcrest High School Girls Soccer team had an extremely productive season, entering the playoffs with a winning record before losing to Sunset Park High School in round 2. The team’s season was an extremely successful one due to the help of the head captain, Michelle Prusayeva, and the team as one. Working as a team has been a big help and got them quite far this past season.
In the Lady Hawks’ first game during the playoffs on October 25th, Hillcrest beat Harry S. Truman by a score of 2-1. The score was tied 1-1 until the very last two minutes of the game. Brenda Jima took the ball from the midfield and got fouled on right outside the 18 yard-box. Prusayeva, who takes all of the free kicks, went up to the ball on the free kick and scored the team’s winning goal. “I scored with two minutes left and the team could not have been any happier. We all put up a strong fight for that win, and we weren’t taking a loss as a result,” said team head captain Michelle Prusayeva. Senior Rosa Santizo scored Hillcrest’s other goal in the game.
Hillcrest’s season came to end two days later against Sunset Park, which entered the city as a 3rd seed after winning all 12 of its regular season games.
The Lady Hawks fell to Sunset Park 4-0. The Ladyhawks were no match for the more skilled Sunset Park team, and the team’s morale fell after falling behind by two quick goals. “We could have put up a better show, but when the girls started to get either hurt or dispirited, everyone slowly started to give up.” stated Prusayeva who had to leave in the second half due to an ankle injury.
During the regular season, the Lady Hawks won 8 games and lost 3, finished 3rd in their division and entered the playoffs as the 19th seed. Prusayeva scored 8 shots in total and made 7 assists, meanwhile, in the playoffs, she scored 1 goal. Other players such as Christina Mohan, scored 13 goals in total and made 5 assists during regular games, and during the playoffs, made 1 assist. Santizo added 4 goals during their regular season games, and 1 goal during the playoffs.
Practicing was almost an everyday thing for the Lady Hawks, and the team loved playing the game and having fun this season. “Our practices were fun and games, but we knew when we had a serious game coming up, we gave it our all,” said Mohan. The team practiced every day except for on the weekends or gameday. “It was fun. If it’s not practice, it’s a game. But I’m pretty sure when we didn’t have neither, the girls kicked a ball around just for fun,” said star player Mohan.
The team outscored its opponents during the regular season by a margin of 34 goals scored to 8 allowed thanks to 9 shutouts by Senior Nadjhe Grant. The team enjoyed huge wins in the regular season over Jamaica High School 8-0, Springfield Gardens 5-0, and High School for Construction 4-0.
Whatever happened during the season, Hillcrest’s Lady Hawks were ready for it. Many hoped to see them in the championship, and although the team fell just short of its goals, Prusyeva was proud of her team. “We as a team tried our best, we knew playoffs weren’t easy from our recent experiences from the past few years. We grew as a team and in the end, that is all that matters.”