The husband-and-wife coaching team of Paddy and Tricia Geraghty led their charges to the perfect ending to what was an incredible year, their 13 league wins in a row ensuring promotion to the top level of women’s soccer in New York City.
But this final success of the season was truly special, a fine display of attacking soccer which led to goals for top scorer Sinead Hennessy and spring recruit Chloe Wheeler.
Hennessy’s opener was a fantastic finish, her chip over the Sirens goalkeeper allowing her to tap home her 25th goal of the season after Jackie Pounder’s brilliant headed assist.
Wheeler made it 2-0 with an excellent header that arrived at the end of a bullet corner by Brittany Meade.
“We finished our season exactly the way we deserved,” said Paddy Geraghty. “The ladies should be very proud of what they have done. I’ve rarely seen a team with such togetherness, determination, and work ethic. We’ve scored 96 goals this season and conceded 12.”
Meanwhile, the Over 30s are through to the State Cup final on June 5 against Long Island side Baisley after a brilliant 4-0 victory over the Greek Americans at Randalls Island.
Held scoreless at the break by a talented Greek outfit, Paddy McCarry decided to make some adjustments in the line-up and it paid big dividends.
The Rocks began to let loose, starting with Andy Horan’s goal, the substitute firing home from the left to the far post.
Alex Berne had the Rocks two to the good after a nice move through the middle and then Sean Reilly scored the third, pushing him ahead of Tayfun Gokmen in the goalscoring charts, Gokmen assisting the sliding Reilly with a perfectly squared ball.
Gokmen then made it four with the score of the game, a bullet from the right swung in off his left foot.
“Today was a battle against a very good Greek side,” said McCarry. “But in the second half we made a couple of changes and the boys upped their game. We were excellent and every member of the 18-man squad played their part today.”
Elsewhere, the first team ended their league campaign on a high note with an impressive win over CPR Whites at St. Michael’s, moving them level with Polonia on 18 points who have the edge on head-to-head.
CPR went ahead just after the half-hour mark, but Santiago Rigby equalized with a penalty shortly after.
And then goalkeeper Franck Tsasse saved from a penalty just before halftime, a critical moment in the game which kept things level for the Rocks.
The third penalty of the game had the Shamrocks in front early in the second half, Alejandro Fritz making no mistake from the spot.
Chris Burns celebrated his return from honeymoon with the third goal and then the next two assists, setting up Rigby for his second and then Fritz for a beautifully taken back heeled flick to the back of the net.
“It was an important win for the first team on many levels,” said Kevin Grogan. “We wanted to work hard and have fun and I feel we did both of those things.”
Meanwhile, there was a 2-2 draw in the reserves game. CPR were 1-0 up, but Paul McDaid scored twice in the second half to put the Rocks up.
CPR leveled it, but the Rocks held on to go clear in third place and set up a playoffs semifinal against Lansdowne on June 5.
“We’re looking forward to taking on Lansdowne now,” said coach Stevie Doyle. “It’s been a tough season but we achieved our goal of a playoff place. It should be a great occasion.
The Legends finished their inaugural season with a 1-1 draw for the Legends, Karol Hughes salvaging a point with his 80th minute penalty.
“It’s a brilliant way to end the season,” said coach Emmett Harvey. “We’ve strengthened over the winter period and we really started to click in the last four games.
“I have to thank Ducky Kelly and director of football Eoin Sweeney, who is not getting sacked contrary to rumors,” he added. “Overall, our debut season in this division has really come together and we look forward to next year.”