By TIM IRVING
It took a little while for Spencerport girls soccer team to get going against Grand Island.
“We were there, it was really just a matter of, we gotta put the next one away and we gotta keep going,” senior Lily Brongo said after the Rangers blew open a 1-0 halftime lead and beat the Vikings 5-0 in the Class A NYS quarterfinals at Webster Thomas High School.
Brongo, the University of Wyoming commit, had a hand in all five goals as Spencerport returns to Cortland and the State semifinals, where they’ll face South Side of Long Island Saturday.
The Rangers started to see the momentum swing their way midway through the first, a couple of golden opportunities for Alyssa Hackett that just missed.
With under three minutes to play, Brongo took a corner kick from the right side and Bre DeHond headed it into the net for a 1-0 Spencerport lead.
“Usually, my thing is to find Alyssa at the back post but eventually, it drops in and I can usually hit Bre and she’s really amazing in the box,” Brongo said of DeHond, who leads the Rangers with 27 goals this season.
With the confidence and momentum going, Spencerport, and Brongo in particular, went on a 5:43 scoring spree early in the second half.
Nine minutes in, Brongo on another right side corner kick, hit freshman Lindsay Lenhard for a clean header.
32 seconds later, Spencerport on a free kick, Aleena Solano’s shot bounced off the post, when the rebound came out to Hackett on the left side and she hit Brongo for a one-timer and a 3-0 lead.
A little over four minutes later, Brongo got to the goal line and sent another ball across the Grand Island goal mouth where Jamie Keens finished and 39 seconds later, another Brongo cross was finished by Hackett.
Spencerport (19-0-1) won back-to-back titles in 2016 and 2017 but due to COVID, didn’t get the chance last year after winning their fifth straight Sectional title in 2020.
“It was that weird feeling like, we made it that far and then it just ended and there wasn’t anything to look forward to except next season,” Brongo said. “I think that motivation is what led to this.”