DIX HILLS, New York, September 18
BY: Andrew Wroblewski
After storming back from a 1-0 deficit to take a one-goal lead in the second half, everything looked good for the Half Hollow Hills High School West girls’ varsity soccer team on Sept. 11 against the Bulldogs of North Babylon.
Then the clock read 8 seconds.
At that time, the Colts’ plan for a comeback was foiled by North Babylon’s junior midfielder Dana Scheriff. After winning the ball atop the Colts’ box, the junior snuck past two defenders and chipped Hills West’s goalkeeper Joanna Musacchia to send the game into overtime.
In overtime, Scheriff broke through once again and only to break the Colts’ hearts as another breakaway led the Bulldogs (2-1) to a 3-2 victory over the Colts (2-1) in a League III opener.
“The girls played great; they played together… But unfortunately we came out with the loss,” Colts’ Head Coach Amanda Strack said after the game. “[We] played hard and fought until the end.”
With 5 minutes left to play in the first half, North Babylon senior midfielder Kayla King opened up the scoring by placing a free kick into the top right corner of the net – just out of reach for Musacchia.
The half came to a close shortly after, but then – in the second half – Hills West was able to capitalize on a free kick as senior defender Angelique Chatpar stepped up to the ball with just 13 minutes left to play. Calm, cool and collected, Chatpar drilled a shot low, to the right corner of the net where Bulldogs’ goalkeeper Angela DiFazio was able to get a hand on it, but not quite enough to keep the Colts off of the scoreboard.
With the momentum now on their side, Hills West kept pressuring the Bulldogs and was able to break through again on a set piece, this time when senior Arianna Sabatino used her head to slickly maneuver the ball around DiFazio and into the back of the net.
As time ran down in the half, though, the Bulldogs did some pressuring of their own and the Colts – although seconds from victory – just weren’t able to sustain the defensive effort.
“We dominated, we did,” Strack said. “[But] we’ll get them next time.”
Missed opportunities, Strack added, played a part in the Colts’ downfall.
In the first half, Hills West drew a penalty kick, but junior midfielder Katina Cokinos put the resulting shot just wide of the net.
While the Colts still trailed by one in the second half, Sabatino had a chance to even things up with 26 minutes left to play when a cross came along to her deep in the box near the left goalpost. Sabatino tried to place the ball into the corner of the net – and would have been successful in doing so – but DiFazio foiled her plans by pushing the ball wide of the net.
“We have to work on finishing,” Strack said. “[With] just a little bit more possession [and] keeping our composure, [I think] we’ll be alright.”
Moving forward, the Colts seemed to have less trouble finishing this week when they took on both Riverhead (0-3) and Copiague (0-3) – on Monday and Wednesday respectively – and twice came out with a 7-0 victory.
On Friday, Hills West will play host to Centereach (1-2) at 4 p.m.
Originally published: Long Islander News: Half Hollow Hills (Thursday, September 18, 2014; A22)