MAHOPAC, N.Y.— After losing six straight games to start the season, the Mahopac Indians sweetened their regular season by racking up two consecutive victories this past week.
Surviving multiple late scares in a 1-0 win against visiting Yorktown, Mahopac’s defense didn’t let it down on Sept. 28 last week.
“We had a lot of incentive to do well,” Mahopac coach Dona DiMaggio said. “They utilized everything that we practiced this game. It was a really evenly matched game skills-wise and was highly competitive. It was huge that we walked away with the victory.”
Senior forward Ally Conlin sent through the lone goal after receiving a diagonal pass at the goalpost from sophomore Kate Kasparian with eight minutes remaining in the first half.
But the Huskers were the team that applied most of the pressure in the second half, hungry to tie the contest soon after the whistle.
Up for the challenge, senior goalie Shannon Barry shook off a flurry a sharp shots and totaled nine saves.
“She was shining,” DiMaggio said of Barry. “Shannon and Erin (Girven) are the nucleus of our team. The way they are both playing has kept us into the competitive edge.”
With the door still open for the Huskers, they got their money’s worth throughout the last five minutes of play.
Barry made three or four saves in about 20 seconds of panic as she kicked and plucked the ball away with the stick repeatedly.
Stuck in the same situation during the last minute of regulation, Barry got some help after tumbling over in a crowd as the ball slowly dribbled past her.
Luckily teammate Caitlyn Reilly smacked it away for the final save of the game.
It was also a special game for the Indians since every player on the roster saw time on the field.
“My philosophy is, ‘If you earn it, you get it,’” DiMaggio said. “We have the type of team where everybody is showing up and working hard in practice. It was a total team contribution and was a great victory.”
Earning its first victory of 2017 Sept. 26, Mahopac defeated John Jay-East Fishkill, 2-0. Barry once again blocked nine shots while both senior Ivy Marshall and junior Andrea Viaggio scored. Girven and Miriam Fanous registered assists.
“We’re definitely improving on passing through balls and going down the alleys with give and go’s,” Conlin said. “We’re becoming more of a team. The whole team is pumped up.”
Mahopac fell to host North Salem 5-0 on Oct. 2. It then traveled to Suffern on Oct. 3, hosted Arlington the next day and will welcome Roy C. Ketcham to town on Oct. 6 at 4:30 p.m.
“We’re finding our niche,” DiMaggio said. “We have a lot of inexperienced people playing, but everyone is working so hard that they are falling into place.”