DiCarlo’s Goal Keeps Grand Island Girls On Top Of NFL Girls Soccer
Grand Island junior Eve DiCarlo spent all day Thursday at school thinking about the Niagara Frontier League girls soccer crossover championship game and came in knowing if the Vikings did things right, they’d emerge with a win.
And why wouldn’t she? Grand Island hasn’t lost to an NFL opponent since 2013.
What she didn’t expect was that she’d be the hero.
DiCarlo found herself in the right place at the right time and knocked in the game’s only with 12:10 left. The Vikings won the NFL championship for a fifth straight season with a 1-0 win over Niagara Wheatfield at Kenmore East’s Sparky Adams Field.
“At first, it felt pretty crazy,” DiCarlo said of her seventh goal of the season. “I did not come in expecting to get the game-winner. I mean, that’s always the hope, but to get the goal, it took me a second to realize it went in and there were no fouls or anything.”
In a game evenly-played every step of the way, Grand Island got the bounce for the only goal of the game. And with that, the Vikings won their 74th straight game against an NFL team, dating back to the 2013 championship game against Lockport.
“It’s almost an expectation but they know they have to put the work in because nothing’s a given,” Grand Island coach Dave Bowman said. “Every year it gets harder because everyone knows how long it’s been and everyone wants to be the one that knocks you off.”
N-W surely tried. After putting up a big fight in a regular season loss on Grand Island, the Falcons put on a ton of pressure in the second half in an attempt to get that crucial first goal. But it was GI that finally got that icebreaker.
Mikayla Robinson’s free kick was bobbled by the N-W goalkeeper and DiCarlo was right there, booting the ball to the roof of the net.
“Quite often that’s the way it comes in games like this,” Bowman said. “And it could have gone the other way. They could’ve gotten a good bounce down there and you could be talking to Pete right now. It’s a bounce and we’ll take it.”
Pete Cerny, Wheatfield’s coach, might not have been satisfied with the final result but he had to be happy with the effort. And the Falcons enter Section VI tournament play knowing they can play with anyone.
“We showed each other that if we play with grit and we play as a team that we can beat top-level teams and that’s the message going into sectionals next week,” he said.