MAHOPAC, N.Y.— Mahopac (6-6) fell to the defending Section 1 Class A champion Somers Tuskers 2-0 on a cloudy Saturday afternoon at the high school.
“We stuck to our game plan,” Mahopac coach Ross Fumusa said. “We weren’t playing kickball or forcing anything in how we moved the ball. [We were] containing Somers. It was just two mistakes in the middle and a great team is going to capitalize on it.”
In what was an even match in terms of possession at first, the Indians lost their grip when Tusker Daniella Cucchiarella caught senior goalie Carleigh Ashnault too far out of the crease and flicked a goal straight over in the 29th minute. Freshman Jess Rodriguez picked up the assist.
Hovering all over the Indians’ defense for most of the first half, the Tuskers failed to cash in when senior Melina Couzis missed wide left off a pass on a cut to the net. Despite an abundance of other opportunities for Somers to tack on more goals, Mahopac crawled into halftime down just 1-0.
“We were limiting our touches in the middle,” Fumusa said. “Playing to feet and checking it for passes. We also built up from the back on defense. We said just don’t punt the ball down the field because Somers will bring it right back because they are so fast. For the most part the girls can hold their heads up high.”
Charging out of the half with some fire, the Indians again maintained possession for the first 10 minutes of the second half. Senior outside midfielder Katie Yurish spiked a shot high of the goal off the end of her foot in the 46th minute.
“We worked well together,” Yurish said. “We communicated and put up a fight against Somers. We need to make more runs on the offensive end. We have to hit each other on the runs and be looking for the outsides. Sometimes we skip over the midfield and just kick from the defense to the offense and lose the ball.”
Seizing control of possession for the majority of the game thereafter, the Tuskers notched their insurance goal after senior forward Ciara Ostrander took Cucchiarella’s pass and deflected a ball off an Indian defender into the net with 18 minutes left.
Mahopac senior Krista Pearl lined a shot off the crossbar with under two minutes remaining.
“We are going to be a little under the radar,” Fumusa said. “I don’t think a lot of teams are going to be expecting us to come out (well). If we can just stick to how we were playing today and against Arlington, then we will be a little threat. We may surprise some teams. We are playing with some confidence right now even though we lost.”
The Indians mustered seven total shots on goal with only two corner kicks for the day. Senior Tylar Revenson saved eight balls during the second half and Ashnault made six saves in the first half.
“Katrina Klammer had a great game,” Fumusa said of his starting defender. “She was getting mixed up with the offense too and had to push up-field and move back. Also, Kayley Mattos had a great game at defensive mid. Our other defensive mid Ellen Walpole played well also.”
The Indians host Roy C. Ketcham at 4 p.m. on Oct. 13 and our home again two days later against Suffern at 1:30 p.m.
“Going into sectionals we are going to be a force to reckon with,” Yurish said. “We are a very strong and talented team and we can compete with any team we play.”