MAHOPAC, N.Y. – Talk about a roller coaster ride.
Before the season even started, the Mahopac girls soccer team lost their best player—Carly Steinberg—for the season.
The Indians were devastated.
But with a first-year coach and never-say-die attitude, the team came together and soon started playing like one of the section’s best.
Mahopac went into the Section 1 Class AA Tournament as the No. 4 seed, and destroyed No. 13 Fox Lane and No. 5 Greeley—outscoring those teams 14-0—before pulling off the upset of the season in the semifinal, stunning No. 1 Arlington on two late goals, 2-1.
The Indians were edged by No. 2 seed North Rockland in the championship game, falling 2-1, and closed the year at 16-4.
Coach Casey Carroll was named League IA Coach of the Year.
“Overall, we really exceeded all expectations, and had a great year,” Carroll said of the season. “I’m so proud of them all, and they made a lot of people proud.
“After the high of winning the Arlington game, and then playing as well as we did against North Rockland, it was really kind of bittersweet,” Carroll added. “I think we shocked a lot of people, because we lost a lot of good players. But we had a lot of talent, and they really peaked at the right time, and had a great season.”
Senior team captain Grace DiVincenzo was named All-Section, All-League, and League IA Co-Player of the Year. Junior Mia Klammer earned All-Section and All-League honors for the second straight season. And senior Jenna Daly took home All-Section Honorable Mention and All-League accolades.
Senior captain Christina Lopreato, senior Sabrina Nogula, and junior Hailey Pereira earned All-League status. Senior Alexa Rispoli and sophomore Madison DeCola were named All-League Honorable mention.
“The (honors) list is difficult, because we had so many girls contribute in so many ways,” Carroll said. “It really takes a team to do what these girls did. The girls who were named all made it easy to be nominated. They were such a presence on the field, all leaders.”
Carroll said that while the team loses considerable talent to graduation—including nine seniors and six starters—hopes are high for next fall.
“Anytime you lose nine players it’s going to hurt,” Carroll said. “We lose leadership, and a lot of experience. But the girls we still have… I think they can be a lot like this year. I think the girls can do a lot more than might be expected.”