The year was 1995 and back then, the PSAL girls’ soccer season was still played in the spring.
As far as Staten Island’s PSAL division was concerned, Tottenville and New Dorp dominated the pitch. The Pirates and Centrals, who were coached by George Kaplan and Nick Kvasic, respectively, at the time, were among the best in the city as well.
In fact, the Island squads met in the city championship game 27 years ago before the Pirates took home their third consecutive title.
Naturally, both teams were loaded with talent and the five players selected Advance All Stars that spring came from none other than Tottenville and New Dorp.
The Advance / SILIve.com will once again take a stroll down memory lane and reveal the former student-athletes who were chosen All Stars that season, in alphabetical order.
And, for a look at some of the Advance / SILive.com’s previous ‘A Look Back,’ pieces, please scroll down to the bottom.
Leslie Lamb, New Dorp
Lamb was one of two three-peat selections during the 1995 girls’ PSAL season that spring.
She was New Dorp’s main offensive threats and a large chunk of the Central’s consistent offense lay on the junior’s shoulders.
The forward-midfielder finished with 15 goals and 15 assists during the regular season and playoffs that season.
Erica Leonardini, Tottenville
The diminutive Leonardini, a defender, had no problem stepping into the path of opposing forwards en route to being named an Advance All Star for the third consecutive season in 1995. Many coaches and players around the city, in fact, considered Leonardini as not only one of the top defenders in the entire PSAL, but quite possibly its top player overall.
With lightning-quick reactions, pinpoint ball control and unmatched quickness, any offensive scheme was immediately in peril with Leonardini in the backfield that season.
Dana Macaluso, Tottenville
Macaluso, a junior forward and two-time All Star, had no problem shouldering the offensive duties for the three-time city champion Pirates since entering high school and 1995 was all the more impressive.
The swift Macaluso was deadly in the open field, garnering an Island-high 32 league and playoff goals, as well as displaying a more developed passing game.
Kelly Ollis, New Dorp
Ollis, who transferred to New Dorp from St. John Villa prior to her junior season, made an instant impact on the PSAL.
In playoffs and regular-season play, her presence split the defensive pressure normally focused on teammate Leslie Lamb.
Her midfield play was tenacious at best, and consistent almost to a fault. In combination with Lamb, the Centrals’ offense was as good as it had been in years, as she collected 10 league goals and 10 assists.
Nikki Vernola, Tottenville
Vernola teamed up with Leonardini to give the Pirates a dominant presence in their own end of the field.
The junior came into her own in 1995 and made her singular presence and style stand out as several top NYC coaches assessed her play as tops in the city.
Her speedy ball recovery and never-say-die attitude belied her ability to push the ball upfield into excellent scoring position time and again for the Tots.
A Look Back: Some of Staten Island’s HS sports programs
A Look Back: New Dorp HS football
A Look Back: Curtis football
A Look Back: Monsignor Farrell football
A Look Back: Tottenville HS football
A Look Back: Susan Wagner football
A Look Back: Port Richmond football
A Look Back: St. Joseph Hill basketball
A Look Back: Tottenville boys’ basketball
A Look Back: Moore Catholic boys’ basketball
A Look Back: New Dorp boys’ basketball
A Look Back: St. Joseph by-the-Sea’s girls’ basketball
A Look Back: Curtis boys’ basketball
A Look Back: St. Peter’s Girls’ basketball
A Look Back: Susan Wagner boys’ basketball
A Look Back: MSIT girls’ basketball
A Look Back: SIA boys’ basketball
A Look Back: Notre Dame Academy basketball
A Look Back: Tottenville softball
A Look Back: St. Peter’s football
A Look Back: McKee / SI Tech football
A Look Back: St. Joseph by-the-Sea football
A Look Back: Moore Catholic football
A Look Back: Moore Catholic girls’ basketball
A Look Back: Port Richmond boys’ basketball