By Joseph Staszewski
The tears began to flow for Olivia McFadden even before the ball left her foot.
“I was crying on that goal,” the Townsend Harris junior forward said. “All the feelings kept rushing me.”
McFadden ran onto Dina Goodger’s through ball and broke free of the Long Island City defense just 15 yards from midfield. The tears streamed down her face as she charged toward the goal just before scoring the final, winning goal just under the crossbar in the 60th minute.
The goal, her third of the game, gave Townsend Harris a 3-2 win over LIC in PSAL Queens A-V girls soccer at Kissena Corridor Thursday. The loss ends the injury-ridden Bulldogs 23-game league-winning streak as they look for a fourth straight division title.
“They beat us by a lot last year.” McFadden said. “We knew LIC was the team to beat. We knew we could do it.”
She provided all the offense Townsend Harris (1-1) needed. McFadden ran on to a long Athina Mihaliadis free kick from near midfield for the first score in the 14th minute and then made a crazy run as she kicked the ball free from multiple defenders to give the Hawks a 2-0 lead in the 20th minute.
“She is going to out run people.” Townsend Harris coach Bill Sioukas said.
McFadden, who plays her club ball for Gotschee, has watched her teammates there gain plenty of recognition at schools like Christ the King and even Alison Dowdle at LIC. Her 23 goals from last season and a tie for second place in the division are often overlooked because she doesn’t play on one of the city’s premier squads.
“She is one of the best forwards in the city,” Long Island City coach Mark Skorupski said. “She is still young. Last season she gave us a hard time.”
His team was playing without four injured players, including starting goalie Kaitlyn Kripfgans (ankle fracture) and Dowdle (ankle sprain). LIC (2-1) got a goal in the 33rd minute from Andrea Giron, who left the game in the second half with an ankle injury. Geraldine Huisa scored off a feed from Giron to tie the score at 2-2 in the 51st minute.
“Every game we are losing somebody,” Husia said. “I just wish they could comeback.”
The Bulldogs, who had strong chances late and played better, but couldn’t complete their own comeback. Sweeper Athina Mihaliadis, who had a superb afternoon, stepped in front of a shot in the box in the last minute of play and Marina Martinez’s corner kick sailed high in the closing minutes. Hawks keeper Bashe Miller made a few sprawling saves in the first half to help preserve the win.
“It was a little scary out there,” Mihaliadis said. “You have to play with confidence.”
The team has confidence in McFadden and a win like this been uplifting.
“I think we will get noticed,” McFadden said, “but there is a whole season ahead of us.”