MAHOPAC, N.Y – The No. 3 Mahopac and No. 5 Somers field hockey teams both had plenty of opportunities in the first half of Monday afternoon’s quarterfinal playoff party at Mahopac High School.
But shortly after the halftime break, all of that changed.
The Indians came out in the third with a new resolve, took a momentum-building lead on a perfectly-executed corner—finished by Marie Camastro 4:42 in, and assisted by senior captain Krista Dietz—and never looked back, controlling most of the second-half play in a hard-fought, 1-0, victory in the large schools Putnam-Northern Westchester playoffs.
The Indians (7-4-1) were scheduled to take on top-seeded Horace Greeley in Wednesday’s semifinal round. The winner of that game advances to Friday’s final.
Mahopac has faced Greeley once this season, losing 5-0 to the Quakers last Saturday at home.
Monday against the Tuskers, the Indians found their groove after the break.
“We came out a little slow in the first half,” Dietz said after the win. “But I thought we picked it up in the second half. We really wanted to get a win in the playoffs. It’s been a while, and this is good for us as a team. We’ve improved a lot during this season, and I think we played together really well today.”
Indians coach Dona DiMaggio agreed.
“In the first half I think we might’ve had some jitters, in the first quarter especially,” DiMaggio said. “Then we settled down and got into our groove, played our own style. And I think we carried that energy into the third quarter.
“The team really rallied around our seniors today,” DiMaggio added. “We played with a lot of heart. I think we started feeling more comfortable in the second half. And in the fourth quarter, I think both teams were playing on adrenaline.”
DiMaggio said her players had been working on the corner play that earned them the victory.
“It was a beautiful goal, they’ve been practicing that a lot, and they got it to go in,” DiMaggio said. “Carly (Ravoli) got it to Krista, who got the defense to commit, then she sent it back to the far corner - where Marie put it in.
“Carly had an outstanding game for us at midfield,” DiMaggio added. “Gabby Gonzalez at center mid played with a lot of energy, Emma Witt was very solid on the right side, and Kerrianne King also played well. We also got a game-saving save from Grace Witt, who stopped a shot with her stick. It was a gorgeous save.”
Sophomore keeper Maddie Orsini was pressured into play, and made an impressive nine saves. “Orsini had a great game,” DiMaggio said. “She found out right before the game that she was going to start, and she really stepped up to the challenge. She was ready.”
Dietz said the team has made the most of this unusual season, but ultimately is happy to be playing. “It’s been different, with the masks and everything going on with COVID,” she said. “We’ve been playing like every day is our last, because we don’t know what’s going to happen the next day. So we’ve been hopeful that we can keep going. We’re very happy to get a win today.”