PUTNAM VALLEY, N.Y. — North Salem played a hard-fought game that ended in a 0-0 tie against Walter Panas on June 28 in the Lakeland Girls Summer Soccer League at Putnam Valley High School.
One of the reasons why the Tigers were able to hold the Panthers scoreless was the stellar play of rising junior sweeper Jenna Murphy.
Murphy said that being able to play in the summer league is very important to her development as a player in addition to allowing her to develop a rapport with her teammates, especially the younger ones, before the regular season begins in the fall.
“It’s super important because this position requires a lot of communication with your teammates, telling them where they have to be, when they have to get back, push up and there’s a bunch of upcoming freshmen this year,” Murphy said. “I’m glad I am playing sweeper, then that way I can learn how everyone plays. You see the entire field back on sweeper and it’s really important. I can share a lot with everyone on the entire team.”
Playing admirably in goal against Panas was Maddy Martabano in the first half and Maddie Wagner in the second half.
“Similar to a sweeper, they see everything on the field and they can sort of predict what’s happening,” Murphy said. “Communicating with the goalie is not only just on the sweeper but the stopper on defense and the two outside defenders really need to communicate with the goalie as well and let her know what they are doing. Communication was the key tonight to us being successful on defense.”
Two nights earlier, North Salem (1-0-1) defeated Hendrick Hudson 1-0, with Ashley Leone recording the shutout in goal.
“Our passing was phenomenal in that game, especially through balls on top,” Murphy said. “We sent a lot of balls up top. We were able to get a lot of shots on goal and quite a few corner kicks and we were able to score off a corner kick.”
Scoring off that corner kick was sophomore Julia DeSanto.
“She came up as a freshman last year and contributed to us at the varsity level so I am looking for her to take the next step and continue contributing and being more of an impact type player,” North Salem coach Bob Martin said.
As for his squad as a whole, Martin is pleased with his team’s play through the first two games of the summer.
“We have a lot of young players so it’s about them getting incorporated into the style we play,” Martin said. “I like the fact that they are looking to possess the ball so they are not rushing as much as I think a young team would normally in the summer. I also like the fact that they are looking for their teammates and looking to pass the ball.”
Martin said this summer he is just looking for his squad to develop team chemistry.
“That’s the biggest hurdle you have with a team coming together,” Martin said. “[We have to] get them used to playing with each other and getting them comfortable with the ball at their feet.”