Girl power. That’s one way to look at the year in Northport sports.
From girls soccer, cross county and lacrosse at Northport High School, to girls volleyball and basketball at Glenn, sports-minded young women dominated in their respective sports in 2012.
Northport lacrosse All-American Cortney Fortunato and Glenn basketball all-star Allison McKenna defined the year.
But great personal and team comebacks also resonated. And none was more amazing than the Tigers’ football team, left for dead after an 0-2 start only to rally and make the playoffs. Here is a look at the year’s Top 10 sports stories:
1. Mohamed Trafeh won a record fourth straight Great Cow Harbor 10K in September, but what two female runners accomplished were equally inspiring. Alisha Williams, 30, of Colorado Springs, Colo., won the women’s race on her seventh try, and she did it by coming from behind down the stretch on Main Street. Northporter Kathleen Callahan-Fodor, 45, took the women’s masters division. No Northport event generates more community involvement or excitement.
2. It had been a generation since Northport High School last won in soccer. Then Hurricane Sandy came along and put a hold on the playoffs. Despite playing four games in five days, the Tigers’ girls soccer team brought home the Long Island Class AA championship. Kristin Desmond scored twice in a 3-1 win over Masapequa in November.
3. Glenn High School girls volleyball won a state Class B championship – again. Knights Coach Kevin Harrington now has six state titles in a 10-year span. Tournament MVP Jackie Malusa led the way as the Knights beat Skaneateles in straight sets in November.
4. Northport football started 0-2 and its season was on the brink. Then the Tigers rolled to six straight wins, including program-defining victories over Sachem North and Floyd, to reach the Suffolk Division I playoffs. Northport also witnessed the reemergence of running back John Trainor, who missed 2011 after a summer shoulder injury.
5. The last time Northporters saw Shannon Gilroy, she on was crutches after tearing the ACL in her left knee in the final seconds of the 2011 state Class A girls lacrosse championship game. But the gifted lacrosse star made a remarkable return to Long Island in May, leading the Florida Gators to the NCAA Final Four.
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6. Allison McKenna scored 30 points and pulled down 23 rebounds to lead the Glenn girls basketball to a 76-65 win over North Shore to claim the Long Island Class A title in March. It was Coach Andy Athanas’ fourth Suffolk title since 2005 and first trip to the state Final Four since 2006.
7. Northport boys and girls cross county teams had a remarkable fall season, each claiming Suffolk championships by dominating Cardiac Hill at Sunken Meadow State Park.
8. Northport boys lacrosse fell in the Suffolk Class AA quarterfinals to perennial champ West Islip. But along the way the Tigers roared, including an impressive playoff win over West Babylon. A special shout out for the Louis Acompora Jamboree, which keeps the memory of the program's former player alive and awareness going.
9. Cortney Fortunato had quite a year. The dynamo on the lacrosse field tied a school record with 10 goals in a win over Commack last spring. She was also a key offensive cog fuelling the Tigers’ girls soccer championship run. The nation’s top-rated lacrosse player signed with Notre Dame.
10. The Glenn class of 2012 was perhaps the most remarkable in school history. Tom Forsberg (Maryland lacrosse) and football recruits Rich Czeczotka (Rutgers), Kevin Malloy (Albany) and Nick Wagner (Stony Brook) each won back-to-back Long Island football titles, something the Knights fell short of this fall.
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