MAHOPAC, N.Y.— Close enough to smell the upset, the visiting Carmel Rams went up 6-4 early in the second half following a 3-3 deadlock with Mahopac’s girls lacrosse team at the halftime break.
The talented Indians were not intimidated, scoring eight unanswered goals to cruise to a 13-7 win on April 26.
“We’re just a really hardworking group,” junior attacker Caroline Raymond said. “You could see it in all of our other games, that we don’t give up. We knew that we weren’t playing the best we could, but we came together and got the win.”
Senior forward Briana Corace was the main aggressor, tallying four goals which included one at the final buzzer.
“It’s always an exhilarating feeling playing your crosstown rival,” Corace said. “It’s good that we started to pick it up in the second half and work together as a team. We started winning the draws more and definitely started to get our offense going.”
Raymond played a well-rounded game, collecting three goals and three assists. Gabby Light and Katie McDonough each scored two goals and had an assist. Kristen Maxwell pitched in with a goal and two assists.
Marella Verde scored once while both Natalie Scanlon and Christina Lopreato each registered an assist. In addition, Scanlon raced all over the field to recover seven groundballs as Raymond scooped up five.
Goalie Emily O’Shea made six saves as the Indians also controlled most of the draws. Raymond won seven of her 11 draws and Maxwell seized five of her 10 attempts.
“Each year our league has been getting stronger and stronger and all of the teams are really working hard,” Mahopac coach Jim Lieto said. “We take pride in being the defending league champs and we know that the second round of league play will be even harder than the first go round.”
Mahopac improved to 4-0 in the league with a 17-9 road victory over Wappingers on April 28. The Indians sailed smoothly from start to finish after piling up 10 goals during the first half.
“Today was a strong performance from start to finish,” Lieto said. “A lot of girls stepped up and did things to contribute to the success of the team.”
The Indians’ defense clamped down in the second half to allow just three goals, and goalie Jordan Barbagallo saved five shots in the half. O’Shea played the first half, blocking four shots.
A grand team effort lit up the stat sheet, but junior Morgan Kirby and Maxwell led the way by netting three goals apiece. Maxwell spun the offensive wheels by winning 14 out of 23 draws and picking up five grounders.
Raymond impressed again with two goals and two assists, while McDonough scored two goals and passed for an assist. Diana Good, Light and Verde all compiled a goal and two assists in the clinic of ball movement.
“We have a great offensive line,” Raymond said. “We always push each other to do well. We settled the ball, concentrated and looked for the open opportunity.”
Lopreato and Alexa Rispoli both notched their first career varsity goals, while Corace and Francesca Mangione added a goal each. Colleen MacNeil and Scanlon both had an assist.
The Indians (7-4) will take on visiting Arlington today at 4:30 p.m. before travelling to Lakeland High School to face Lakeland/Panas on May 8 at 4:30 p.m.