Floyd girls soccer kicks it to cancer

The William Floyd Colonials girls varsity soccer team recently participated in the annual Kicks 4 Cancer game, a charity game in which students wear special shirts and support a worthwhile cause within the surrounding and local communities. This year, the Colonials have chosen to support the Dezy Strong Foundation, an organization founded by Matt “Dezy” DiStefano, which is dedicated to fighting cancer and committed to supporting those affected by it. The final amount raised will be matched by the Suffolk County Coaches Association and donated to the Dezy Strong Foundation. Dezy, a Sachem alumnus, teacher and coach, who was recently diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer, has three children under age 9, as well as nephews who attend William Floyd schools. His connections to the district run deep. His sister, Jennifer Kolongowski, works at Nathaniel Woodhull Elementary School as a computer lab teacher; he is also the former trainer/coach of current girls varsity soccer head coach Kaleigh Sidaras and assistant coach Jamie Spencer. Since his diagnosis in February 2019, Dezy created the foundation to raise money to create wellness centers for those battling cancer. His motto is, “We get to…” and he has gone around to many schools and colleges sharing his belief that people get to do things every day that are taken for granted, until they lose the ability to do them. To showcase their support of Dezy and his fight against cancer, both William Floyd and their opponent, Sachem North, wore “Dezy Strong” T-shirts during pregame warm-ups. Mrs. Kolongowski and her son, Nicholas, an eighth-grade student at William Floyd Middle School, had the privilege of participating in the pregame coin toss. “Athletics is about way more than the game on the field,” said coach Sidaras. “It is about helping our student-athletes become better people. I couldn’t be more proud of my girls and our program, and I am beyond blessed to take part in this #WeGetTo movement.” The continued support from the Colonials and other programs across Suffolk County has helped the Suffolk County Girls Soccer Association raise more than $235,000 since 2008 through Kicks 4 Cancer efforts. Along with supporting an amazing cause, this year’s Kicks 4 Cancer game was a memorable one. Donning their pink game shirts and playing through cold rain and heavy wind, the girls came away with a thrilling 2-1 overtime victory. The first goal was scored by AvaGayle Comstock and assisted by Jordan Widecki. After Sachem North tied the game at 1, extra time was needed to decide a winner. With less than five seconds remaining in overtime, Kaitlyn Vlacich sealed the victory for the Colonials after receiving a perfect pass from Ryleigh Pafitis and blasting an incredible shot over the goalkeeper’s hand and into the net. There are two games remaining in the season for the Colonials, who are 5-0-1 in their last six games and sport a 6-6-2 overall record. They still have a chance at making the playoffs. They visited Central Islip on Monday and end the regular season with a visit to Bellport on Oct. 24 at 5:30 p.m.

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