SHRUB OAK, N.Y.— Morgan Kirby knew that nerves would be her worst enemy as she lined up for a penalty kick with the game tied late in the second half against Lakeland.
The junior didn’t let the jitters get the best of her and put the ball in the back of the net to propel Mahopac to a 2-1 win over host Lakeland in its season opener on Wednesday, Sept. 7.
“When the team was awarded the penalty kick, I was very excited to be the one to take it,” Kirby said. “I knew that I must stay composed and not overthink it in order to score. I’ve been in this position before and have learned to not let the pressure get to me, so I felt confident that I could score and bring my team up by a goal late in the game.”
Mahopac held a 1-0 lead at halftime after a goal by junior Ailis Martin, but with eight minutes remaining Katherine Maurno was fouled in the box and scored on a penalty kick to tie the game.
Fifty seconds later, the stage was set for Kirby when the Indians were fouled in the box.
“When we regained the lead late in the Lakeland game, it proved we could work together and stay focused and play with a sense of urgency in order to get a good result,” Kirby said.
Mahopac fell to 1-1 on the young season with a 1-0 loss to host New Rochelle on Friday, Sept. 9.
“The team needs to improve on maintaining possession against teams that pressure the ball well, and also to use both sides of the field while advancing forward,” Kirby said of what they took away from the setback against the Huguenots.
Mahopac hosts Bronxville at 4:45 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 15 and then travels to Ossining for an 11 a.m. game on Saturday, Sept. 17. Two days later the Indians will head up to Lagrangeville to take on Arlington at 4:30 p.m.