The Wantagh/Seaford Thunderbolts. (Photo courtesy of the Thunderbolts and ENYYSA)

The Wantagh/Seaford Thunderbolts of the Long Island Junior Soccer League made some new friends, played against a strong team and received a geography lesson to boot. All in all, it was a good weekend for the Girls Under-19 team.

On Friday night, Aug. 10 at Cedar Creek Park in Seaford, Wantagh/Seaford played Lions Gibraltar FC, which has players who have already aged out of youth soccer as well as players on the country’s youth national teams. The Long Island girls learned that Gibraltar is a British territory of more than 30,000 people positioned on the southern tip of the Iberian peninsula.

The friendly presented a good learning experience for the LIJSL team coached by Wantagh/Seaford PAL’s director of coaching Tim Nolan.

“I think we held our own and played very well,” he said.

The experience was also much more than about the action on the field. The teams got a chance to hang out and talk after the final whistle.

“Afterwards, we sat around, had some pizza and pasta, talked, exchanged numbers and had a lot of laughs,” Nolan said. 

The next day the teams met in New York City and visited the World Trade Center Memorial. 

Wantagh/Seaford finished the spring season with a 2-6-1 record in Girls U-19, Division 1 and advanced to the Long Island Cup quarterfinals.