It was a champion season for the Poly Prep Country Day School’s girls’ varsity soccer team which managed to win three New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS) Championships this fall in girls’ cross-country, girls’ volleyball and girls’ soccer.
The Poly Prep girls’ varsity soccer program began in 2000, according to Holly Hanna, Poly Prep communications director. Eighteen years later, the team won the school’s first-ever NYSAIS State Championship in girls’ soccer on November 4, defeating Trinity 3-0 in the finals held at Manhattanville College.
First-year head coach Kristin Cannon and her team, led by seniors Devon Olive, Maggie Fort, Claudia Iannelli, Rema Hort and Kayla Nejat, defeated the Ivy League Champions in a final match.
“Poly Prep beat Leman and Riverdale to secure their first-ever spot in the NYSAIS finals,” Hanna said. “Poly Prep finished the season at 15-4 overall. In 19 games, Poly Prep scored 60 goals, only had 20 goals against, and saw 12 different players score throughout the season.”
Because of the team’s success, several players received individual awards, including Poly Prep junior forward Sydney Urban, who earned All-America, All-Region, First Team All-State, and First Team All-Ivy after her 23 goals and 16-assist season.
Midfielder Olive earned First Team All-State and First Team All-Ivy after scoring 14 goals and 10 assists; defender Fort earned All-State and First Team All-Ivy as a defensive stalwart, and forward Iannelli earned Second Team All-Ivy.
At the team banquet, Urban and Olive were recognized as co-team MVPs and Annabelle Bayer was named Most Improved Player.
“This season and this team were really special, said Urban. “Sometimes it’s hard to have new coaches and perform well. But Coach (Kristin) Cannon and Coach (Lisa) Beltramello made it easy to trust them. We bought into the culture and cared about each other on and off the field which is why I think we became the NYSAIS champions.”
The Poly Prep girls’ volleyball team dominated the court all season, going undefeated against all New York City competition.
First-year head coach Ben Diaz’s team was champion of the Ivy Prep School League, before going on to defeat the Bronx’s Ethical Culture Fieldston School in the NYSAIS championship game, culminating in the school’s first NYSAIS volleyball championship since 2003.
Lauren Kauppila and Avery Meyers were named First Team All-Ivy Prep League and Darien Minnihan was named to the second team. Kauppila and Meyers were co-team MVPs, Erika Williams was named most improved, and Minnihan and Ava Gural received the Coaches Award.
Also in her first year as head coach, Bridgette Ingram’s Poly Prep girls’ cross-country team took home first place honors at the NYSAIS championship meet in Van Cortlandt Park.